Tuesday 2 March 2021

About Today Readings

Isaiah 1:10, 16-20. To the upright I will show the saving power of God – Psalm 49(50):8-9, 16-17, 21, 23. Matthew 23:1-12.

They do not practise what they preach

Sometimes one can see priests and bishops shift uncomfortably when proclaiming Jesus’ words in today’s Gospel. Call no one father? Servant leadership? Practice as you preach? Jesus’ warnings for those of us called to teach and lead (ordained or not mind you) are stark. That said, we who aren’t in such roles shouldn’t take too much comfort. Do what they tell you. This is perhaps even harder to swallow. It’s our turn to shift uncomfortably, particularly if we’ve been relying on clerical hypocrisy to absolve our own sinfulness or to dim the demands Jesus makes of us, including obedience to the Church and other legitimate authorities. Ultimately though, we can all, leaders and followers, be comforted in that Jesus has indeed lifted a finger for us. Our scarlet sins can be made white again if we are willing to obey him, the most perfect teacher. Prayer, penance and almsgiving might help here.

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