Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio, Chapel of the Apostolic Nunciature, Wednesday 16 October 2019
Gospel: Luke 11:42-46
In today’s Gospel the conflicting relationship between Jesus and the religious authority of the time continues. 
The final observation of Jesus: “You should practice this, without neglecting the others.” recalls another observation of Jesus which serves as a comment: “Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete them.”
Jesus also calls the attention of the disciples to the hypocritical behavior of some Pharisees. They like to go around the streets with long tunics, and receive the greetings of the people, to occupy the first seats in the synagogues and the seats of honor at banquets. 
The image of “whitewashed tombs” speaks for itself and does not need any comments. Through this image, Jesus condemns a fictitious appearance of persons who are correct, but interiorly there is the complete negation of how they want to appear to be on the outside. In Israel, anyone who walks on or touches a tomb becomes impure, even if the tomb is hidden under the ground. This image is very strong: on the outside the Pharisee seems to be just and good, but this aspect is deceitful because inside there is a hidden tomb that, without people being aware, spreads a poison that kills, communicates a mentality that leads people away from God,suggests an erroneous understanding of the Good News of the Kingdom. It is an ideology which makes God a dead idol.
In His response Jesus shows clearly that the same criticism is also for the scribes. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus expresses the same criticism which serves as a comment: “The scribes and the Pharisees occupy the chair of Moses. You must, therefore, do and observe what they tell you, but do not be guided by what they do, since they do not practice what they preach.”.