I know, it's really the feast of St. Louis, King of France... But the album we hope to begin recording today is based mostly in Gregorian Chant, so we are invoking St. Gregory for the project.
Today's Gospel can be frightening. Jesus comes across as scathingly harsh in revealing the emptiness that can hide behind pious practices. It seems it was really the nitpicking that sent him over the edge: "If you swear by the altar," the experts of interpretation declared, "you aren't really held to your oath. Only if you swear by the gift on the altar are you bound to your word." Jesus had a real problem with that: it made the gift more important than the altar! (Jesus had a problem with oaths anyway: "Do not swear at all! Let your 'yes' mean 'yes' and your 'no' mean 'no'," he said in the Sermon on the Mount.) I suppose that if you boiled today's Gospel down to the essence, the message would be "live in the presence of God!"