By Father Andrew Kelly
The believing community is gathered for Sunday’s Word, body and blood. The Gospel (Matthew 23:1-12) is proclaimed. The community takes a gigantic sigh of relief. For a change, the Gospel is not about “us,” but about “them” from a long time ago.
But as the community prayerfully reflects upon the Gospel, it may become painfully aware that the Gospel is about “us.”
The community teaches and preaches all sorts of things about Jesus, but does the community live it? Could it be that Jesus might advise people observing the community: “… but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach.”
Sunday’s Gospel is a devastating critique about what can happen to a Christian community that loses contact with its roots in Jesus’ Gospel.
The core lesson of Sunday’s Gospel is: “…for you have one teacher, and you are all students (sisters and brothers.)”
The obligation is that all community members and leaders listen to Jesus’ Gospel and then translate that into treating every human being as sister and brother.
Everyone in the community is equal regardless of role or ministry. The only standard is Jesus’ command: “The greatest among you will be your servant.”
(Father Andrew Kelly is pastor of St. Mary Parish in Mechanicsville.)