for Sunday, October 30, 2011
They preach but they do not practice! Always we need to be self - reflective
enough to understand whether we are doing this ourselves. Jesus is really
tough on those who tell others what to do while they themselves are not
doing it. This is a fairly human failing. Often when we someone
criticizing another person, we recognize in them the same defect that they
are criticizing. How difficult it is to say that! It is not so much that
this is always the case, but it is the case enough of the time that we
should become self - reflective and self - aware so that we don't do the same
Generally Jesus is fairly meek and mild, even when he is stating truths
that others may not want to hear. But in this section of the Gospel of
Matthew, he is fierce. He is totally clear that all of us should follow
certain norms in our lives and thus we may have to do what others tell us,
even if the others are not doing it.
The challenge of true spirituality is to serve others without even
noticing it. Jesus keeps telling us that if we want to be great, then we
must serve everyone else almost as if we were slaves. We must also pay no
attention to our service but simply serve.
The Prophet Malachi today tells the priests of his time that they are not
keeping the ways of God and are partial in their decisions and are not
interested in serving God or the people. It should touch our own hearts
when we hear the Prophet say: Why then do we break faith with one another,
violating the covenant of our fathers?
Mistreating one another is being unfaithful to God's covenant.
In the First Letter to the Thessalonians, we are given the example of
Saint Paul to follow. Paul worked very hard to earn his own income so that
no one could criticize him as a burden on the society, one who only
preaches to make his own living. Instead Paul works to gain his own
sustenance so that all can see that he preaches God and God's love for us
without any money being involved.
This is the ideal for all of us as Christians. We know that we should
give alms to the poor and help those who have little or nothing. On the
other hand, when we proclaim our faith, we should never be seeking income
from that activity!
How do I live? For God and others, as a servant?
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: