Views From The Pews – Sunday, November 5, 2023

Reflection on Matthew 23:1-12

In our gospel, there are three salient points that we must reflect profoundly in our lives. One is when he said “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 practise.”  This kind of attitude is still common to us that is why we often heard this saying ‘walk the talk’. With this, may we be reminded always that the word is alive when it is our actions that speak.

Second one is “They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues, greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation Rabbi”. This is the danger of falling into a trap of popularity, power, fortune and other forms of achievements often they called it a ‘maze haze attitude’. This simply means as people who are blinded/clouded by praises and in the end, they even lost their sense of identity and become self-righteous.

Thus the third point,  Jesus tells his disciples with these words; “But you are not to be called Rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students. Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven.” Jesus wanted to warn both his own disciples and the religious leaders about the temptation to seek honors and titles that draw attention to ourselves in place of God and his word. Pride tempts us to put ourselves first above others.

The message of our gospel today teaches us to serve the people with humility and sincerity rather than with pride and self-promotion. Let our words be the living testimonies of Christ and these are humility, poverty, patience and obedience. We speak them when we show them to others.