All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.
“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you lock people out of the kingdom of heaven. For you do not go in yourselves, and when others are going in, you stop them. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cross sea and land to make a single convert, and you make the new convert twice as much a child of hell as yourselves. “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the sanctuary is bound by nothing, but whoever swears by the gold of the sanctuary is bound by the oath.’
You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the sanctuary that has made the gold sacred? And you say, ‘Whoever swears by the altar is bound by nothing, but whoever swears by the gift that is on the altar is bound by the oath.’ How blind you are! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? So whoever swears by the altar, swears by it and by everything on it; and whoever swears by the sanctuary, swears by it and by the one who dwells in it; and whoever swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by the one who is seated upon it.
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.
In today’s Gospel Jesus scolds the scribes and Pharisees for their guidance of their people and their use (or mis-use) of authority. I can’t pretend to fully understand this passage and all its historical complexities, but it does make me think of my own opportunities of leadership and authority. Am I humble, kind and just with those I lead and with the students I teach?
Any talent, knowledge or opportunity I have has been given to me by God. When might I have been arrogant or too self-assured about what I say or know? How may I have been a “blind guide” to others? There is sometimes a tension between confidence in what you believe and pride. I pray that I may be mindful of this in all areas of my life and faith.
—Megan Agliano teaches in religious studies at Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix, AZ.
Loving God, I praise you for all I have been given. Guide me in using my talents and gifts humbly for your greater glory and not for my own. Amen.
—Megan AglianoPlease share the Good Word with your friends!