• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Friday, 03 November 2017 12:19

31st Week in Ordinary Time - 2017

Written by Fr Elmer Ibarra SVD

 

Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
Matthew 23:1-12

Fr Elmer Ibarra 150 BestThere is a saying that, “one ceases to be humble if one is boasting of one’s humility.”

The gospel for today tells us of the dangers of being trapped with titles instead of doing service.

During the time of Christ, Pharisees and scribes wielded a lot of power not only spiritually but also temporally. They lived in a time where there were a lot of illiterate people and therefore they were dependent on the wisdom of these religious leaders for how to conduct their own lives. Jesus, being a man of his own time knew this situation and he acknowledged the importance of people who sat at the “chair of Moses”. That’s why Jesus tells his listeners to “observe everything that they tell you”. Unfortunately though in the same breath he says, “but do not follow their example”.

Sadly, we live in a world where our leaders do exactly the opposite of what they preach. We live in a world where leaders are more interested in the privileges that they will get and forget the very reason why they’re there in the first place. I don’t think I need to cite examples in this homily. One must simply read the newspapers and one will not find it hard to see all these things.

For people who are in a leadership position, the gospel poses a serious challenge to all of us. On the religious front, there are people who are called “Father”, “Bishop”, “Monsignor”, “Reverend”, etc. and these people are addressed “Your Grace”, “Your Excellency”, “Your Eminence”, “Your Holiness”. Yet with these titles one must be reminded not of one’s authority, but of one’s responsibility of serving the people with whom we are entrusted. The point of Jesus is not about dismissing the use of titles, for Jesus also used the word “Father” to people aside from the Heavenly Father. It is all about reminding ourselves of why we were given such a responsibility in the first place.

Since the election of Pope Francis, he has taught us through his example what it means to be humble. Since his election, we’ve seen pictures of him paying his hotel bill for the room where he stayed during the conclave. There was another picture of him riding a bus together with the other cardinals instead of using his own car. His own car too is just a small one instead of using a stretch limousine. He also ditched the red loafers and preferred to wear a pair of black shoes as an alternative. His pectoral cross is made of silver instead of the traditional gold, the pectoral cross that he used when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires. We can cite endless examples of how, through his example, he is teaching us about humility.

Humility is really a very tricky virtue because as soon as we begin boasting about it then it ceases to be a virtue. Humility is all about placing one’s attention not about one’s self but always on the other. It is all about putting others’ needs first instead of your own.

As we continue to reflect on the gospel today, let us try to look at ourselves and see whether we are practicing what we preach. It is difficult because we are prone to mistakes, yet admitting to our mistakes and being sorry about them is also a sign of humility. This humility and honesty would make us more endearing to others than putting on a mask and pretending that we are perfect, for perfection is only reserved to God who alone is perfect, yet he always encourages us to try to be perfect.

Hopefully, this gospel will inspire us to live a life of humility and authenticity not because we dream to be exalted at the end of our lives but because it is the right thing to do to serve as an example for others and to be of genuine service to those who need our help.

 

Last modified on Friday, 03 November 2017 12:53