Jesus Denounces Scribes and Pharisees
Reflection on the Gospel of the Tuesday
In today’s gospel, Jesus addressing the religious leaders of his time is also doing the same with us because each of us, at some point in time is in authority. Authority is not for power, but for empowering and enabling others. Real authority is a form of service, not a way of control. Jesus tells us that the greatest among us is the one who best serves the needs of those around them rather than the one who has the most impressive titles. Even our Holy Father goes by the title ‘the servant of the servants of God’. So who can I serve today with love?
The Pharisees were good people: they prayed, lived piously according to the Law, and they gave tithes. But at the same time they were centered on themselves, not on God. They saw themselves as already perfected, as people who did not need divine mercy because their lives were sinless. And this was the reason there was no love in them.
Jesus is the direct opposite: He sees himself as the servant of all – as a slave, willing to wash people’s feet, merciful to all; He is against any form of superiority, domination or showing off. And that’s what He pointed to the religious leader then and does so to us today; to simply serve in our families, our neighbourhood, at our work places, people we dislike and strangers we meet, rather than seek to get high titles. By doing so we are closer to Jesus who wanted only to be a servant (Mark 10:45).
Lord, Your message is very clear, so help me to be a better follower of Yours, and to listen to what You are trying to tell me. May my daily walk with You transform me. In the words of the beautiful prayer of Saint Richard of Chichester ‘May I see You more clearly, love You more dearly, and follow You more nearly’.