If we look closely and reflect on the New Testament of the Holy Scripture, we will notice that Lord Jesus' anger and disdain is directed most to the Pharisees. Another one was on the fig tree which never bears fruit. Still one more: to the money changers in the temple. But Jesus called only the Pharisees and Scribes as vipers. This is a strong word--a viper, a snake and it cuts to the bone and heart! No one of course will like this word. It just goes to show that the Lord does not like us to resemble the traits of a true viper--- attacks without warning, attacks even his own carer, a show off and quite selfish in the survival in the bush or desert!
In the context of that time when Jesus visited His people, the Pharisees like to be greeted in the market square. They are the bosses in religious matters and they do not like to share that privilege. They pray where they can be seen so that people may see and praise them. To reflect deeper, we need foremost the approval of God before men. But if the community recognises our work, it is still a noble gift, does not come from man but God rewards those people via the civic leaders.
In the context of the present time, we ought not to copy the ways of the Pharisees. All the things that we do, whether for God or for the poor should be always for the glory of God!
When we pray and do pious things, God should in our mind, not awaiting for the praises of men but with the desire to please God ultimately! Of course, we love our family and friends but in all of these precious relationships, God should always be there! With God in our midst, things become easier. Not yet Paradise on earth, but manageable with God's help and with the intercession of Mother Mary, the Mediatrix of graces, St Joseph, St Michael the Archangel, all of the Angels and Saints.
We pray today that God will grant us pure hearts, unselfish with an utmost goal of loving Him first and foremost! In addition to this first and great commandment to also love others sincerely without pretense and not be like the whitewash tombs which are beautiful outside but full of bones and filth inside.
Almighty Father, we love you but you have loved us immensely. Thank you for everything and may we please you at all times, although we know we are weak and helpless. But, by your grace, may we avoid to be like the Pharisees and Scribes but at the same time not judge them, for judgment is Thine alone. We pray this in the Most Holy Name of your Son Jesus by the Holy Spirit. Amen.