Today’s Gospel: Matthew 23, 1-12 – St. Bernard
To act like a Pharisee is an incredible temptation for the faithful. We are usually not afraid to preach to others on the big Truths of our Catholic faith. And there is nothing wrong with wanting to be seen as a faith-filled woman, because we truly want to live our faith authentically.
Internally, though, it’s just so hard to put the Gospel into practice on a daily basis. We fall into the trap of sharing the Good News without also being vulnerable enough to share the real struggles we all face in living the Good News.
It’s easy to share successes – I practice NFP! I attend Sunday Mass every week! I teach my children about the Eucharist! Yet it’s so difficult to – Keep from looking away when I see a homeless beggar. Wake up early each morning to spend a few minutes in silent prayer. Control my tongue when I am upset with my husband.
We naturally seek approval from others, and encouragement is a blessing. Nevertheless, especially in our social media culture where photos are filtered and posts are selective, we need to humble ourselves to admit our faults with others. Then we can be humble enough to serve our families and our communities.
St. Bernard “wished to live hidden and forgotten” in his monastery, because he knew his weakness when it came to temptations of the flesh. He spoke out against pride and wrote instructions on humility, and many people sought his counsel. St. Bernard once wrote that the demands on him left “scarcely an hour free from the crowd … and they do not leave me even time to pray.” As a mother, I echo St. Bernard’s complaint, but I find hope in his determination to cast out prideful ways and humbly admit our failings.
What struggles in living your faith can you honestly share with someone today?
Lord, like St. Bernard, help us to preach an authentic faith by our words and actions this day as we moment by moment try to live the Gospel message. Guide our hearts to desire to please you much more than receiving any public affirmation.
Copyright 2016 Jenny Bales
Jenny is a Catholic wife of almost 17 years and a homeschooling mother of four, who calls Texas home, and is passionate about encouraging other mothers through the joys and struggles of this incredible life.