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Lenten Reflection: Day 14
Gospel, Matthew 23:1-12
Reading the New Testament in the light of The Old, we can realise the constant sprouting of wisdom within our heart and mind. Jesus, on earth, dwelt as Man and yet lived His nature as True God as well at the same time. Therefore, His words are The Word of God and His actions as man are ‘the perfect’ example of obedience to God’s Word. This is why ‘it is right and just’ to give thanks to Him for teaching us how to live life that is worthy of being called children of God. That is, to live the beatitudes from the ‘rising of the sun to its setting.’
The fundamental aspect of living the Gospel is to imitate Christ and His relationship with His Father and Spirit, as well as His bride; the Church. His words are The Law of love and mercy, and He is the covenant of God made new for mankind, for all eternity. His Law requires humility and compassion to precede everything. Which is why those who abuse precepts and rules; especially when they are made custodians of law, they let hypocrisy and injustice enslave the ones who seek joy, peace and justice. Instead of liberating them from the burden of worldly temptations, they press upon them the weight of terrorizing fear of unfair implications of the laws. The most shameful aspect of it all is that such enforcers and pretentious ‘beacons of light’ don’t shy from expecting only the highest pedestals and respect among men.
Jesus therefore, teaches us to humble ourselves and not seek the glory of great authority, but rather embrace the heavenly virtue of brotherly fellowship in righteousness. By asking us not to call any man our father; because our only Father is the one in heaven, He implies that because life is from God and everything good for its flourishing is from His bounty of love and mercy, He is the rightful Father of all. His paternity alone gives us the right to enter His eternal kingdom in heaven.
Finally, leadership of servitude, humility over pride, selflessness against greed, is the measure of greatness in the sight of God. “Extripate two thoughts within thyself: do not consider thyself worthy of anything great, and do not think that any other man is much lower than thou in worthiness. Learn humble-mindedness beforehand, which The Lord commanded in word and showed forth in deed. Hence, do not expect obedience from others, but be ready for obedience thyself.” – St Basil the Great.