Gospel: Mt 23:1-12
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees have sat down on the chair of Moses. So you shall do and observe all they say; but do not do as they do, for they do not do what they say. They tie up heavy burdens and load them on the shoulders of the people, but they do not even lift a finger to move them. They do everything in order to be seen by people: they wear very wide bands of the law around their foreheads, and robes with large tassels. They enjoy the first places at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues, and they like being greeted in the marketplace, and being called ‘Master’ by the people. But you, do not let yourselves be called Master, because you have only one Master, and all of you are brothers and sisters. Neither should you call anyone on earth Father, because you have only one Father, he who is in heaven. Nor should you be called Leader, because Christ is the only Leader for you. Let the greatest among you be the servant of all. For whoever makes himself great shall be humbled, and whoever humbles himself shall be made great.
Do not do what they say Jesus teaches his disciples to do what the Pharisees instruct, but not to follow their example, “for they do not do what they say.” When we were younger we said to ourselves we will not follow the hypocritical ways of our elders. Relying on sheer will power, we vowed to walk the talk, to be men and women of integrity. But as we grew older, we recognized the disparity between our values and convictions and our actions and decisions. Humbled, we’ve learned to pray for God’s grace which alone will empower us to live what we preach and believe.
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