Friday, August 19, 2016
Saturday, 20th Week in Ordinary Time
20 August 2016
Saturday, 20th Week in Ordinary Time
St. Bernard, Abbot and Doctor of the Church
Ez 43:1 - 7ab / Mt 23: 1 – 12
Born in France, St. Bernard (1090 – 1153) was a Cistercian abbot and preacher.
Gospel Reading: Mt 23: 1 – 12
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: "The teachers of the Law and the Pharisees sat on the seat of Moses. So you shall do and observe all they say, but do not do as they do, for they do not do what they say. They tie up heavy burdens and load them on the shoulders of the people, but they do not even raise a finger to move them. They do everything in order to be seen by people; so they wear very wide bands of the Law around their foreheads, and robes with large tassels. They enjoy the first place at feasts and reserved seats in the synagogues, and being greeted in the marketplace and being called 'Master' by the people.
"But you, do not let yourselves be called Master because you have only one Master, and all of you are brothers and sisters. Neither should you call anyone on earth Father, because you have only one Father, he who is in heaven. Nor should you be called leader, because Christ is the only leader for you. Let the greatest among you be the servant of all. For whoever makes himself great shall be humbled, and whoever humbles himself shall be made great."
Jesus forgave and accepted many sinners in his lifetime - tax collectors, prostitutes, adulterers, soldiers, criminals, etc. He was, however, particularly severe on hypocrites, and his most severe criticism was reserved for the Pharisees.
Hypocrisy combines two of the greatest sins – pride and dishonesty. The Pharisees did not want to be criticized and loved to make a show of their goodness. With this attitude, it was difficult for them to accept Jesus and his call to conversion. Jesus emphasized a childlike attitude, openness and complete disposition to the Father. The Pharisees however had their own agenda to protect, and had ceased to give genuine worship to God.
We too run the risk of going through life with a hypocritical attitude – saying one thing and doing another. We may end up with the same mentality as the Pharisees, being blind to our own failings while keeping a watchful and critical eye at the failings of others. We must always be vigilant against this very subtle sin, and ask ourselves constantly: Are we really open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in our lives? Or are we living our faith in a self-righteous and self-sufficient manner? Whose interests are we really after – God's or ours?
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:
Hilda T. So
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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