Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint 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 Messiah.
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
It’s essential that you work on humility
1- They do not do what they say. It is a theme to work on this Lent: your way of living and acting in front of others. Because you and I are sometimes bitten by the bug of pretending to be like superman and showing off as if we were the best of the best. Even within the Church itself, we believe we are the purest and it will even be said that “this retreat is for them so that they can convert once and for all”. Conversion is constant and something that was striking in the first Christians is the humility with which they lived. It is not necessary that you go around shining to show who you are or what you do, you simply have to be yourself.
2- Your identity. The scribes and Pharisees had this problem, they did not live according to what they were, but according to the position they held or what they did. A few days ago, I remembered a fraternal correction that a brother priest once made to me and did me a lot of good. He said to me “Luis, when you introduce yourself, you always introduce yourself as the bishop’s secretary” and he said to me “Stop that! You are Luis Zazano, you are Father Luis.” He was right, I had let myself be eaten up by my role and I had got carried away from my reality. I had to go back to being me and not live off of the position I had been given.
3- Servant. Service is what heals all pride or arrogance, it heals the attitude of showing off. That is why something that makes me particularly proud is to see superiors of a congregation who wash the dishes or the bathrooms, as a rule… so that they do not forget that our authority is based on service and not on titles. The higher we are within the Church, the more helpful we have to be.
God bless you and be with you in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. And always remember, Heaven is our goal!