Reflections - November 5, 2017

“The greatest among you must be your servant”.  Mt. 23:11
 
In the Gospel today Jesus speaks to us about the inconsistency between what is said and what is done. 
 
To whom did the Lord direct such strong words?  They were directed towards the scribes and Pharisees.  These men directed the people of God spiritually and they had a great influence in society in the legal aspect of the law.  They also marked standards of conduct and judged and applied the weight of the law towards others even though they, themselves, were a little scrupulous in complying with them.  The Pharisees had removed from the law the human part doing without compassion towards ones neighbor and putting “an unbearable yoke”.  That is why Jesus called them “hypocrites” because many of them lived a double standard and did not fulfill what they imposed.  “They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them”.
 
As I said in the beginning they was an inconsistency in their moral behavior between what they said and what they did.  They liked to pretend to occupy the first places.
 
Jesus tries to teach us in the Gospel that some leaders of the people of Israel had lost their sense of being servants of the people of God living blindly in their vainglory and forgetting that the power received from the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was to serve.  “The greatest among you must be your servant.”
 
What lesson can we, the baptized sons and daughters of God, learn.  First that we must live a consistency of life between what we say and what we do.  As St. Ignatius said:  “Love should be places more in works than in words”.
 
As Baptized Christians we must make an examination of conscience and ask the Lord, through prayer, for the virtue of humility “to discover what is clogging up the veins in our spiritual lives” that does not allow us to detach from the many worries in our lives in order to go in search of the spiritual consistency that Jesus proposes for us:  “deny yourself and follow the cross” to put the best of you at the service of the Kingdom of God.  Remember:  “whoever humbles himself will be exalted”.  Mt. 23:12.