Remember we ARE God’s servants

 

Today’s reflection from Bishop Robert Barron certainly sheds light on the journey for every parent who deals with a loved one with Same-Sex -Attraction.  He really identifies the mission of EnCourage, especially me as a Deacon and others in a similar position, when he tells us that we cannot only dump our own troubles at the foot of our Lord but need to take the additional action of reaching out to those to help them on this rocky road.  As a member of the clergy we must be the beacon of light for our parents to confide in. Below after the gospel are the words of his Excellency:

 

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Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,
“The scribes and the Pharisees
have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
but do not 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.’
As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’
You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
Call no one on earth your father;
you have but one Father in heaven.
Do not be called ‘Master’;
you have but one master, the Christ.
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

 

Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus turns his sharp eye and withering critique on the many ways that religious leaders fall into corruption. What precisely is bothering Jesus? Some religious leaders get their kicks from burdening people, laying the law on them heavily, making demands that are terrible, exulting in their own moral superiority.

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At the core of Jesus’ program is a willingness to bear other people’s burdens, to help them carry their loads. And this applies to the moral life as well. If we lay the burden of God’s law on people, we must be willing, at the same time, to help them bear it. Another classic problem with religious people and especially religious leaders: they use the law and morality as a means of inflating the ego. The trouble is that this drug wears off rather quickly, and then we want more of it. We need a greater title, more respect, more recognition.

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What is Jesus’ recommendation for those caught in this dilemma? To be great is to be a servant: lowly, simple, often forgotten. Eschew marks of respect; don’t seek them. Be satisfied with doing your work on behalf of God’s kingdom, whatever it is.”

 

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