Tuesday, March 6, 2007, 2nd Week of Lent
1st Reading: Is 1:10, 16-20
Gospel: Matthew 23:1-12
Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The teachers of the Law and the Pharisees sat on the seat of Moses. So you shall do and observe all they say, but do not do as they do, for they do not do what they say. They tie up heavy burdens and load them on the shoulders of the people, but they do not even raise a finger to move them. They do everything in order to be seen by people; so they wear very wide bands of the Law around their foreheads, and robes with large tassels. They enjoy the first place at feasts and reserved seats in the synagogues, and being greeted in the marketplace and being called ‘Master’ by the people.“But you, do not let yourselves be called Master because you have only one Master, and all of you are brothers and sisters. Neither should you call anyone on earth Father, because you have only one Father, he who is in heaven. Nor should you be called leader, because Christ is the only leader for you. Let the greatest among you be the servant of all. For whoever makes himself great shall be humbled, and whoever humbles himself shall be made great.”
We do not like to think of ourselves as Sodom or Gomorrah—a people known for their wickedness, sexual promiscuity, greed, and insulting behaviors before God. But that is what and who we are. And Isaiah calls us back: cease doing evil, learn to do good. And again it is doing justice for the wronged, the orphan, the widow, the poor. If only we would obey and not continue to resist and refuse. We must choose: the sword that destroys us as our deeds come back to us or setting things right with the Lord. Jesus uses the example of the leaders—to do what they say, but not what they do. Their words are bold but their deeds few (sadly our own leaders in our communities and church would most probably be taken to task and spoken about in the same way today). We are to open our eyes and see that our leaders bind up heavy loads and lay them on others’ shoulders but don’t lift a finger to help. Instead of following in their footsteps we are to be servants and humbly make sure that those who are burdened receive our help.
For our Bible time, we read these daily readings (today's above) and discuss them. And we are also reading KING OF THE GOLDEN CITY (By Mary Loyola) and working in the study guide. And finally we are working through packets given to us by a dear friend called JOURNEY OF FAITH FOR CHILDREN (By Francine O'Connor). We are really enjoying these studies and have been enjoying our Bible Time together first thing every morning.