Daily Gospel Reflection for March 18, 2014

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Today’s Gospel: Matthew 23:1-12

Jesus made a point of taking on the powerful leaders of the day. He often engaged in discussions with the Scribes and Pharisees who failed to grasp his message. They tried to make him look foolish; mirror that he was he reflected their foolishness back onto themselves.

In today’s gospel reading, Jesus again shows the foolish nature of the leaders who make a performance out of being righteous. Claiming their role as “Rabbi,” they get into character with zeal, wearing the right costumes and proclaiming their good deeds in voices sure to reach the last row in the auditorium. They are in perfect character but to Jesus, that is all they are: characters. They bring on the applause of their audience but in the end, it’s just an empty performance.

Jesus teaches us to aspire to being a different character, one who is invisible and yet leaves behind a trail of light and love and good works. We may not remember the stranger on the street who held the door open, gave us a seat on the crowded subway or allowed us to catch the taxi cab meant for him. We may not remember the face or know the name, but we remember the warm glow of our gratitude at his care.

This indeed is the award-winning performance, one done from the heart. And the reward is not an Oscar or a Tony, but eternal life.

Ponder:

Which character do we aspire to be and why?

Pray:

Lord, make what I do for love of you be the visible part of myself. May you increase as I decrease, only leaving beyond the beautiful light and sweet scent of your love. Amen.

Copyright 2014 Susan Bailey

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About Author

Susan Bailey is an writer, speaker and musician. She is the author of River of Grace Creative Passages Through Difficult Times, published by Ave Maria Press, and Louisa May Alcott: Illuminated by The Message, part of the Literary Portals to Prayer series published by ACTA Publications. Along with her own blogs Be As One and Louisa May Alcott is My Passion), Susan frequently contributes to CatholicMom.com and the Association of Catholic Women Bloggers. She has also contributed to Catholic.net and Catholic Online. Susan writes articles and a monthly column known as Be as One for the Diocese of Worcester newspaper, The Catholic Free Press. Bailey, who works as a marketing/advertising assistant for a local real estate firm, is an associate member of the Commission for Women of the Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts, where previously she served as chair and secretary, helping to organize the biennial “Gather Us In” women’s conference, one of the first major Catholic women’s conferences in the country. As part of her duties she wrote the monthly column for The Catholic Free Press known as “Concerning Women” and appeared on CatholicTV’s “This is the Day” to promote the conference. A professional musician and graphic artist, Bailey released four CDs, performed on EWTN, CatholicTV and World Youth Day 2002, and worked as a cantor in her parish of St. Luke the Evangelist for fifteen years. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education (with concentrations in US History and Music) from Bridgewater State University. She and her husband, Rich, have two grown children and live in North Grafton, Massachusetts. Susan invites you to join her email list where you will receive updates on exciting professional developments and speaking engagements. Email subscribers also receive special giveaways and previews of new projects. Susan loves a good conversation and looks forward to corresponding with you! Join here.

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