Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them. They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long.
They love to have the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have people call them rabbi. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students. And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father—the one in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah.
The greatest among you will be your servant. All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
“Come now, let us set things right, says the Lord.” Aren’t these the most consoling words someone can say when we are frustrated? We can get so caught up in an impossible task or overburdened by our work that sometimes we just need someone to say “let’s do this together!”
Most of our frustration is due to the fact that we think we can accomplish everything by ourselves. But the Lord tells us that we don’t have to shoulder the burdens of life by ourselves. In today’s gospel, the scribes and Pharisees wanted to save their pride by showing other people that they could do grand things by themselves. But in reality, it was just a show. Jesus reveals to us an easier way and, in taking this way, our pride is the least thing at stake. For whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
Let us surrender to the Lord and ask for his help.
Take, O take me as I am;
summon out what I can be;
set your seal upon my heart
and live in me.
—John L. Bell, © 1995, Iona Community; administered by GIA Publications, Inc.