Today’s Gospel: Matthew 23:13-22
Sometimes I can’t help but feel for the scribes and Pharisees. It’s probably because I have so much in common with them: Jesus is talking to me in today’s Gospel, and, if I’m honest, I have to admit that it stings.
How often have I used my gift for wordsmithing to tear up someone’s work, criticize their efforts, or otherwise fail to do good? And how often do I martyr myself (and not in the manner of the saints!) in order to prevent someone else getting the good I know I don’t deserve either?
It happens in small ways. Someone calls and just wants to chat, but I’m not in the mood. A friend asks for my opinion, and I respond a little too bluntly. I’m busy with my stuff and my concerns and my projects, and I’m unable to see past my own pile to the needs of those around me.
That little guy who wants me to read him a story? The girl who wants to tell me about her great big discovery? The movie my husband put on just so that I’d watch it with him? All opportunities lost.
The kingdom of heaven is a concept I can never quite grasp until I step back from what I see. Because, really, it’s all around us. It’s pretty obvious, when I stop and pay attention.
God doesn’t ask a lot of me. And yet, what he does ask is the most important thing I can do.
So why’s it so hard so much of the time?
Today, I’m going to hold this gospel in my heart and ask Mama Mary to keep me from my favorite hypocrisies and failings.
How am I a hypocrite with those I love? What can I do today to change this in some small way?
Lord, I’m feeling like a pretty hopeless case. And yet, there are plenty of examples of your mercy and your love, so I just have to trust that, if I can just let go enough, you’ll guide me in the right direction. Help me to be open to the kingdom of heaven all around me and to your will in my life. Amen.
Copyright 2014 Sarah Reinhard