31st Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” This line from our Gospel today is one to keep in mind when interacting with others. As I mentioned last weekend, it is easy for us to compare ourselves to those around us and to pit “us” versus “them.” By separating and allowing ourselves to be divided though, it then follows that it will be just as easy to compare in a negative sense, based in jealousy and envy, us to those around us. As we are reminded through the Gospels though, we must, “remove the beam from our eyes before we worry about the sliver in our neighbor’s.”

When Jesus spoke of the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and Sadducees, the leaders of the church, He was seeking to remind us that just because they struggle to follow the law, that the law isn’t invalidated by their sins and inability to be perfect. It’s easy to put leadership on a pedestal, but it is difficult to remember, at times, that those in leadership are just as flawed as
everyone else, and that they too are sinners.

Too many times in the history of humanity, has the phrase been uttered that if the leaders of the church are flawed then the church that they seek to lead, and guide is flawed. We, as Catholics, believe that the Divine institution of the Church is without sin, but that it is encompassed by sinners who are imperfect and sometimes choose self and sin over objective truth and morals. So, what then are we to do? Listen to the Words of Christ! “Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example.”

-Fr. Danny Grover


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