Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time (5 Nov.)

Matthew 23:1-12

Then addressing the crowds and his disciples Jesus said, ‘The scribes and the Pharisees occupy the chair of Moses. You must therefore do and observe what they tell you; but do not be guided by what they do, since they do not practise what they preach. They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on people’s shoulders, but will they lift a finger to move them? Not they! Everything they do is done to attract attention, like wearing broader headbands and longer tassels, like wanting to take the place of honour at banquets and the front seats in the synagogues, being greeted respectfully in the market squares and having people call them Rabbi.

‘You, however, must not allow yourselves to be called Rabbi, since you have only one Master, and you are all brothers. You must call no one on earth your father, since you have only one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor must you allow yourselves to be called teachers, for you have only one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you must be your servant. Anyone who raises himself up will be humbled, and anyone who humbles himself will be raised up.

In this Gospel text, Jesus addresses His disciples and the people. He speaks about the Scribes and Pharisees, about their attitude to those who are less important than themselves.
It makes one think, am I a “Scribe”? Am I a “Pharisee”? Do I make demands that are impossible for others to do? Do I belittle others by my attitude?
As a follower of Jesus, compassion, humility and truth should be the hallmarks of a good life.
Lord Jesus, help me to be humble, compassionate and truthful to those with whom I work and meet in life on earth, that I may be worthy of a place in Heaven.

Sr Immaculata da Rocha O.P.
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