REFLECTION FOR TODAY
March 2, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
“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.’” Matt. 23: 6-7
In our gospel reference today, Jesus spoke out clearly against the hypocritical behavior of the Pharisees. He openly opposed their hypocrisy, knowing that it stemmed from hearts that were hardened against God. Jesus started by pointing out the contradiction of the scribes and the Pharisees. They legitimately hold the “chair of Moses”, but the choices of their lives are illegitimate. They do not practice what they preach.
The Pharisees appeared to be fine outwardly. they did all the right thing and followed the law meticulously in every regard. These they do more out of fear of men than love of God. All their action was to attract attention to themselves. they were “stage people”.
Sometimes in life we have these tendencies of being hypocrite or putting forward some hypocritical behavior like the Pharisees. We cannot afford to put Jesus’ words aside as something which concerns only the Pharisees. We must see those time in our lives when we do not long for Jesus in our hearts but look for salvation based on complying to regulation without love in our hearts.
Jesus wants us to experience more than just the satisfaction of complying with regulation or legal requirements or doing good deeds. If we allow Him to touch our hearts, then our actions will arise from a desire to please God rather than the desire to look good before people.
Reflect today about the driving force in your life? Are you move by the desire to look good before people and the meticulous observance of the law or by the love of God? Look deep into your life to see those tendencies of hypocrisy in you and be ready to ask and allow Jesus to warm your heart with the grace of the Holy Spirit.
Lord Jesus, thank you for your example of humility and self-sacrifice. By the power of your Holy Spirit indwelling in me, give me the grace to love and serve today, so that I may be more like you. Jesus, I trust in You.