Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent
Malvern Minute


Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent

March 2, 2021

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Saint Mary Magdalen Parish, Media, PA


Book of the Prophet Isaiah 1:10, 16-20

Psalm 50

Matthew 23:1-12


            Are you a person who “practices what you preach?”  A loaded question indeed.  In today’s Gospel narrative of Saint Matthew Jesus rebukes the scribes and Pharisees for their showy practices.  In plain language, they simply want to be good role models for the Jewish people.  Unfortunately, their good intentions are watered down because they seek respect and honor for themselves and not for the glory of God and for His Holy Words.  The scribes and Pharisees want the people to treat them as great teachers and rulers of the Law.  However, the practice of their faith is a burden rather than a joy for the people they are supposed to be serving.  They enjoy the titles of “Rabbi, Master, and Father.  Sadly, they are not aware of the harm they are forcing on the people they serve.

            Jesus Himself rejects these three honorary titles of “Rabbi, Master and Father.”  Is Jesus against anyone having these titles or is he directing this sharp rebuke to the scribes and Pharisees?  This does not mean that our doctor shouldn’t be called a doctor, a judge is called a judge, or a Catholic priest be called father, and so forth.  What Jesus is against is for Christians to use titles for mere self-glory, arrogance, or selfishness.

            In our daily lives, many tend to imitate the scribes and Pharisees.  We are so overzealous in doing things we fail to realize that we are doing more damage than good to our neighbors.  Here we must be disciplined and become humble of heart as Jesus teaches us.  Saint Paul in his letter to the Philippians (2:5-11) reminds us, “He embraced the humiliation of our human condition, of the cross, for our redemption.  No one as great as Christ has ever walked this earth or ever will.  No one as humble as Christ has ever walked this earth or ever will.” 

            Friends, a true disciple of Jesus means one who listens in order to learn.  Our Lord shows us the way to the Father; the way of peace, joy, righteousness, holiness, and true happiness.  He shows us the way by lowering Himself as a servant for our sake.

Question of the Day:  How will you become an example of humility to others?

Prayer:  “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”  Matthew 23:12


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