Lord, we pray for our religious leaders to be God-fearing and who can lead people to God
2nd Week of Lent (B) : Tuesday 2nd March 2021
Is. 1:10,16-20; Ps. 49:8-9,16-17,21,23;
Mt. 23:1-12 (Ps Wk II)
In the first reading of the Book of Isaiah, the main message is that whatever disasters befell on Jerusalem were punishment for its people’s infidelity. If they repented and are obedient, they will again enjoy the fruits of the land. The people of Jerusalem’s behaviour are linked with Sodom and Gomorrah’s ancient cities, which were both destroyed by fire from heaven (Gen. 19).
The rulers of Jerusalem are called “rulers of Sodom”, and its people, “the people of Gomorrah” to show how sinful the whole city had become, especially in its treatment of the poor, orphans and widows. In this regard, the constant sacrifice of animals or celebration of religious festivals does not please the Lord. What God wants from His people is repentance, a complete turning of their hearts to Him.
The rulers of Jerusalem failed to lead the people to God. Those in leadership at the time of Jesus were also failing in their responsibility. Chosen by Jesus for harsh criticism are the scribes and Pharisees, the day’s religious leaders and intellectuals. Instead of helping the people draw closer to God, they are caught up with self-display and the desire for honorific titles and showy religious practices. Jesus warns the people to avoid the religious style of these “rulers.”
Today’s readings highlight the importance of God-fearing religious rulers, who can lead the people to God.
Lord, we pray for our religious leaders.