Focusing the Gospel
Key words and phrases: reach but they do not practice, one teacher, one Father, one master, servant humbles himself
Connecting the Gospel …
To the point: After so many prior confrontations, Jesus himself now directly takes on the scribes and Pharisees by pointing to a problem in the community: “they preach but they do not practice.”
Jesus clearly teaches that who we are is defined by how we are with God and one another. We are to be learners of the one true Master, all children of the “one Father in heaven,” humble servants of Christ and each other. How we are reveals most truly who we are.
… to the First Reading: The reading from Malachi reinforces the teaching of Jesus: we must practice what we preach. We must never be the cause of others turning away from our one God and Father.
… to experience: We all struggle to align what we do with what we say, especially when we are in some position of authority (e.g. parents, teachers, civic leaders). What is at stake is not only our own integrity but also the well-being of those for whom we are role models.