31st Sunday in Ordinary Time
Malachi 1:14;2:2,8-10 II:
1 Thessalonians 2:7-9,13
1 Then said Jesus to the crowds and to his disciples,
2 "The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat;
3 so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice.
4 They bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with their finger.
5 They do all their deeds to be seen by men; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long,
6 and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues,
7 and salutations in the market places, and being called rabbi by men.
8 But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brethren.
9 And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.
10 Neither be called masters, for you have one master, the Christ.
11 He who is greatest among you shall be your servant;
12 whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
(v.2) Moses' seat can be understood as a common metaphor for the teaching and
ruling authority of the scribes and Pharisees in the Jewish community.
(v.5) Phylacteries: the Mosaic law required that during morning prayer small leather boxes
containing parchments on which verses of scripture were written be worn on the
left forearm and the forehead (Ex 13:9,13:16; Dt 6:8,11:18).
The Mosaic law prescribed that tassels be worn on the corners of one's outer garment
as a reminder to keep the commandments (Nm 15:37-39; Dt 22:12). Jesus also followed
this practice (Mt 9:20, 14:36). The widening of phylacteries and the lengthening of
tassels were for the purpose of making these evidences of piety more noticeable.
(vv.8-12) Rabbi literally means "my great one," a title of respect for teachers and leaders.
In Matthew only Judas called Jesus "Rabbi." At that time, the titles of rabbi, father or master were possibly also used to address the disciples; the Matthean Jesus forbids not only the titles but also the spirit of superiority and pride.
One Main Point
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
What do you think about the implication of the proverb "Don't listen to what they say but look at what they've done?" Do my actions reflect my words?
What are the motives of my involvement in the community, in the Church activities?
Is my desire to serve or to be served? What is my attitude when serving others?
Enter Reader's Response or
View Reader's Response this week
A synthesis by the Vietnamese Christian Life (Dong Hanh) Community