March 06, 2012
by V. Romeo A. Almeda
Sharing God’s Message to Me
First Reading: Isaiah 1:10, 16-20
Psalm: Psalm 50:8-9, 16-17, 21, 23
Gospel: Matthew 23:1-12
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.
Be Servants of God
11 The greatest among you must be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Matthew 23:11-12
I was recently aghast at the actuations of a senator of the Philippines. Well, many of them are of the same disposition. Outside the senate they call themselves public servants but inside senate investigations, impeachment courts, etc. they berate the public, the very public that they supposedly serve.
In community, the designation "servant" has evolved from what used to be "head," which is meaningful because service really comes from the heart. It is not because one is intellectually superior that he gets to lead a household prayer group, it is because he has a servant heart. The designation "elder" has also been taken for granted, not unlike Senior with a capital S. A Pharisaic nature slowly crept into our hearts with these designations, whether we admit it or not, and it is correct that these terms are now evolved into "missionary." It is a reminder of our task at hand, and a removal of any vain glory of being an elder or a Senior, similar to the vain glory of being called rabbi or master.
LORD, may your servants be good shepherds like you. May they have humble hearts to serve their flock, and become with the Church servus servorum Dei, servant of the servants of God. Amen.
LORD, let my two eyes see You, my two ears hear You, my two hands work with You and for You, my two feet go where I can proclaim You, but let my mind be only one, as You made it, and fixed on You. Amen.