If you came to church today feeling like you were a fairly decent person, I’m sure the Readings we have heard today have changed that perception. “Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” doesn’t sound like much Gospel. For as bad of a rap as we give them, the Pharisees were good people in a worldly definition of good. They were the people you would trust with the most intimate secrets, knowing the combination to the safes at Fort Knox, and the like. They were good people. They strove to do everything correctly, to be honest and upright people. They did it for the wrong reasons, of course, but to the outside world they made the saintliest grandmother look like the member of a biker gang. So, unless you’re better than them, there’s no way you’re entering heaven. And since you’ve been confronted by the Ten Commandments, St. Paul’s admonition to stop living in sin, and Jesus’ revelation that keeping the Ten Commandments is far more than simply keeping the letter of the law, you have been shown that, no, there is no way your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, and, no, you cannot hope to enter heaven on your own merits.