What Does God Teach Us?
How do you represent Christ in the world? Do you live believing in Church doctrine and profess this faith to those around you? Or do you live by multiple faces, professing certain beliefs on the outside, yet living by completely different standards? Many people proclaiming to be disciples of God are living on the edge of hypocrisy, which, sadly, few can deny. Think about the debates circulating in politics lately in terms of pro-life, valuing one life over another. God wants us to value all life, and not pick and choose what suits us, as the modern world leads us to believe is our choice. Though we should adjust to our world, we need to grasp important doctrines and stick to them, the core values of faith.
Today's Gospel states:'Then said Jesus to the crowds and to his disciples, "The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat; so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice. They bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by men; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues, and salutations in the market places, and being called rabbi by men. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brethren. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called masters, for you have one master, the Christ. He who is greatest among you shall be your servant; whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted'(Matthew 23:1-12).
In today's Gospel, we hear how though the Pharisees have important teachings, they do not truly live by them. Jesus tells us we need to not only be faithful, but live by that which we preach. Are there areas in your life where you don't follow God's teachings, where you may disagree? Disagreements make us turn on one another, and fall into sin. Take some time to ask God to help you be acceptant of His church, and teachings, and aid others in believing as well.
Today's prayer comes from 'Catholicity' a prayer to accept God's teachings today:
O God, early in the morning I cry to you. Help me to pray and to concentrate my thoughts on you: I cannot do this alone. In me there is darkness, but with you there is light. I am lonely, but you do not leave me. I am feeble in heart, but with you there is help. I am restless, but with you there is peace. In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience. I do not understand your ways, but you know the way for me... Restore me to liberty, and enable me so to live now that I may answer before you and before me. Lord, whatever this day may bring, your name be praised. Amen.