Gospel: Matthew 23:1-12
Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,
“The scribes and the Pharisees
have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
but do not follow their example.
For they preach but they do not practice.
They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry
and lay them on people’s shoulders,
but they will not lift a finger to move them.
All their works are performed to be seen.
They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’
As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’
You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
Call no one on earth your father;
you have but one Father in heaven.
Do not be called ‘Master’;
you have but one master, the Christ.
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
The Mass intention is for Gerard Law RIP.
Mon used to be an active member of his group. He was always present on every occasion. He contributes to the group’s funds and organizes some of its events. However, he has a weakness: he wants to be recognized for all his hard work in the community. One time, someone forgot to mention his name in the programme. Mon got annoyed and left the group. In today’s Gospel, Jesus criticized the scribes and Pharisees for performing their duties to be recognized by everyone. In the Gospel reading for Ash Wednesday, Jesus warns us that if we follow the scribes and Pharisees’ behaviour, we will forfeit the reward God has in store for us (Matthew 6:1). Sacred Scriptures is full of stories of God’s favour on the humble such as Abraham, Moses, Ruth, Joseph, and Mary, to name a few. Conversely, it is also full of stories of God’s disdain on the proud. Humility is the hallmark of Jesus who “humbled Himself and became obedient to death…Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the Name above all names.” (Philippians 2:8-9). After witnessing how Jesus taught, the people were amazed because “He taught with authority” (Mark 1:22). If we wish to be great, look no further. Stay with Jesus.
- At work or in the community, are you a silent worker or someone who hogs the limelight? Why or why not?
- How can you become more Christlike in the parish this Lent?
- How do you deal with leaders who do not practice what they preach?
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your Word today. You who humbled Yourself to become like one of us except sin, grant us the grace to live humbly in Your presence so that we may worthily share in Your Passion, Death, and Resurrection. Amen.
Suggested Lenten penance: Do something concrete to help the poor.