Too often we hear about religious folk, who, like the Pharisees in today’s Gospel, don’t practice what they preach, and are hypocrites.
In Christianity, a great safeguard and solution to all this hypocrisy is found in the later words of Jesus in the Gospel today: to realize and follow Jesus as our ONE father-teacher-master, and as master-teacher and father of humble service.
Humility in service is the hallmark of the disciple of Christ. Besides the concrete call to serve and to do so humbly, we are also asked today to consider the spirit and wisdom of Psalm 131: “O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor are my eyes haughty…like a weaned child on its mother’s lap, so is my soul within me.”
Emptying and surrender are key qualities in a life of humble service in Christ. We have to let go of ambition, ego, pride and related self-referencing attractions.
So, rather than congratulate ourselves that we’re not like the Pharisees, we would gain more from the Gospel by asking how Jesus is challenging US today? How do we fight off self-righteousness, how do we cultivate humility and live in a way that shows we are grounded in God?