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21st August 2021

Memorial of St Pius X, Pope


First Reading: Ruth 2:1-3,8-11;4:13-17

Resp: Psalm 128:1-5

Gospel: Matthew 23:1-12

Dear Christians, our gospel message begins with a severe indictment of the scribes and Pharisees. “The scribes and Pharisees occupy the chair of Moses.” “They do not practice what they preach.” What can we deduce from the gospel of today?

First, not practicing what we preach is the cause of many miseries. Priests and religious are reminded that they should bear witness to Christ they follow by their deeds, then, by their words. Parents also should teach their children, first, by the example of their lives; words may not even be necessary. Why? Young people and children are moved more by non-verbal communication than by verbal communication.

Secondly, Concern for the welfare of the people, compelled Jesus to speak out against the leaders, at his own risk. “Listen to what they say; do not act as they do.” Jesus himself always practiced before he preached. The great virtue he was practicing all the time was humility. So He had the right to say: “Learn from Me, for I am meek and humble of heart.” Let us not lose our faith if we see those who are supposed to be leading us to faith not practicing what they teach. Remember there is a day of judgement depending on one’s religious and social status. Let us live the Gospel.

Finally, Jesus tells us that we all have one Master, and one Teacher. Why is Jesus Christ our only Teacher? He is the Truth. No other teacher can claim to be the truth. The truth that is proclaimed by those who occupy the chair of Moses is not from themselves. The wrong that the leaders do is from themselves. The message of the gospel today teaches us to serve the people with humility and sincerity rather than with pride and self- promotion. Let our words be living testimonies of Christ: his humility, poverty, patience and obedience. We speak them when we show them to others.


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