Our readings this weekend are a reminder to us that we need to LIVE the faith we profess: we need to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. In both the first reading and the Gospel, religious leaders are chastised because they are more concerned about themselves and their status than the people they were supposed to be serving.
This is obviously a challenge to priests and other religious leaders to remember that it is all about being of service to others, not honor and glory for oneself. I believe Pope Francis says it well when he reminds us clerics that we have to “smell like the sheep.” The honor, for me, of being a priest is the opportunity to serve others.
But every person, no matter their status in life, can take a lesson from these readings. As I go through life, what criteria do I use for making decisions? What is important to me? To look good? To make money? To have more power? Being concerned for ourselves is a natural, human need and these things will be a part of our decision
making. But, is the welfare of others also a part? Helping others? Sharing with those in need? Do I always have to be first or can I let others go ahead?
Living a life of Gospel values means gradually allowing the “me” in my decision making become less dominant, as I reach out to others in need. It is not either/or, but rather both/and. The challenge before us is to make sure we are growing in our ability to live a life that includes the needs of others in our decision making.
Let us pray that each one of us, no matter where we are in life, will continue to grow in our ability to show our love of God through love of neighbor.
Church sign of the week: Kindness is the only investment that never fails.