Gospel of Matthew 23:1-12 Reflection:
What struck me most about today's reading when I first read it this morning was that Jesus called on the people to obey the Pharisees because they ‘occupied the chair of Moses.’ He knew and preached against the Pharisees saying that everything they did was to attract attention, yet he also told the people to obey the teaching of the law that they gave.
We have the same problem today: why should we listen to priests and bishops when they are obviously not living by what they preach. But Jesus knew that this is a false argument. The Law of God stands independent of the man who preaches, if a man says ‘thou shalt not kill’ and then kills someone, then his action does not make it right for you to go out and kill your neighbour.
In today’s world our media is always looking for the story to bring people down. First they make great heroes out of people and then they delight in toppling them, showing any defect in their behaviour.
But we all fall short of the way of life we should live, none of us can live up to Christian principles. The acid test is ‘are we willing to keep on trying.’
We look for all sorts of excuses to justify our behaviour and the easiest way is to condemn others who should know better. But in this reading today, Jesus tells us plainly that we cannot do this, such an excuse holds no water.