Whenever you feel down and disappointed especially when your elders failed you, how do you respond to it? When your faith is tested, do you remain steadfast in your service?
Last week, a close friend told me that he felt so bad after being humiliated by an elder in the community. I told him not to be affected much, but instead pray for strength and humility. I reassured him that God knows everything, and that God’s blessing is what matters most in these moments of disappointment.
The Gospel’s main theme this Sunday is about consistency and pride. The Pharisees perform their works in order to be seen. Thus, Jesus told His disciples and the crowd, to do and observe all things that they (Pharisees) tell them to do, but not to follow their example.
“For they preach but they do not practice.
They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry
and lay them on people’s shoulders,
but they will not lift a finger to move them.
All their works are performed to be seen.
They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’” (Mt. 23: 3-7)
Things aren’t different today either. There are people who talk and look good, project holiness in public, and yet their hearts are full of envy and hatred. Their actions speak of hypocrisy and inconsistency. How about us? Do we say this thing and then act differently? Do you realize that what you do is actually more revealing than what you say? It is said that who we are and what we are tell more about us than what we tell others about us. How we treat the restaurant waiter, the boy at the parking lot, the security guards manning our offices, and our helps at home tell more about who we are, than the façade we show to the world. Our actions are being observed by others without us knowing and realizing it.
When things get rough we are sometimes tempted to get back to those who have offended us. Yet, let us remember that living our faith requires us to understand that what is more important is how the Lord Jesus would want us to do, and that is live by His example of humility and meekness. We have to be patient with one another, with our neighbor so to speak.
In the world today, it’s a tough challenge to do this. But we have to stay the course. We have to let God come into our hearts and to view things from a different viewpoint — the Master’s point of view. The Spirit will tell us that the Lord is there, patiently forming us to become better versions of ourselves.
“You have but one Father in heaven and one master, the Christ.” (Mt. 23: 9B, 10B)