O Lord, search me and guide me
21st Week in Ordinary Time (B) : Wednesday 25th August 2021
1 Thess. 2:9-13; Ps. 138:7-8,9-10,11-12;
Mt. 23:27-32 (Ps Wk I)
The scripture readings provide us with some ideas about spiritual leadership. On reading the letter of Paul to the Thessalonians and the gospel passage, we see a comparison between the leadership provided by Paul and his helpers and that of the scribes and Pharisees, the religious leaders at the time of Jesus.
On the one hand, we have an example of Paul’s spiritual leadership. In his writing, we sense someone who sees himself as a father to his children, who works hard to provide for his own needs instead of burdening any of the believers. His treatment of them was “impeccably right and fair”, and he has taught them what is right, encouraged them and appealed to them to lead a life worthy of God.
On the other hand, Jesus provides us with an example of the type of spiritual leadership shown by the scribes and Pharisees. Jesus describes them as “hypocrites”, “whitewashed tombs”, and filled with “hypocrisy and lawlessness”. Outwardly, they pretend to show respect for the prophets and holy men of the past and say they would not have done what their ancestors did, but in reality, are “sons of those who murdered the prophets”.
What a contrast of spiritual leadership? Certainly, this makes us wonder about our own spiritual leaders today. What type of spiritual leadership do we provide to our families or who are under our care. Are we authentic spiritual fathers or mothers to them? Or are we spiritual “hypocrites” who look good on the outside but are “dead” and “corrupted” on the inside?
O Lord, search me and guide me.