March 14, 2017
Tuesday of the 2nd Week of Lent
The Gospel Today
Matthew 23: 1-2
1Then said Jesus to the crowds and to his disciples,
2″The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat;
3so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice.
4They bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with their finger.
5They do all their deeds to be seen by men; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long,
6and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues,
7and salutations in the market places, and being called rabbi by men.
8But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brethren.
9And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.
10Neither be called masters, for you have one master, the Christ.
11He who is greatest among you shall be your servant;
12whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
REFLECTION (Sem. Philip Faustino S. Volante)
The Gospel today brought me back to a question our formator would always ask us, “What is your motivation?” It is good to ask ourselves especially at this time of Lent, in everything that we do, what motivates us?
The Scribes and the Pharisees all have but one motivation, and that is to gain power, authority, and popularity. As a priest-in-process, the privileges and the opportunities that are attached to where we are right now are very tempting and may lead us to be just like the scribes and Pharisees. But if it is clear to us that we are here to serve and not to be served, we study hard not to be better than others but to become agents of truth, to let others feel the love of God through us. Knowing that we are mere instruments of God and that God is also present in others as well, we can and we will overcome all the challenges and obstacles that the formation offers. If it is clear to us who we are, the things that need to be done will also be clear to us.
This invitation is not only for priests, religious, and priests-in-process, but the invitation stands for everyone. It is always good to ask ourselves, “What is my motivation? Why do I do the things that I am doing?” Sometimes, we must ask this question for us to have a direction in our lives. Are we cleaning our house because we want it clean, or because of love? Are we elected as a government leader only to serve the needs of the people, or are we here to defend them from all kinds of danger and corruption? Do we work hard because of the salary during pay days, or because we have a beautiful plan for our family’s future?
What motivates you?