They preach but they do not practice! Always we need to be self-reflective enough to understand whether we are doing this ourselves. Jesus is really tough on those who tell others what to do while they themselves are not doing it. This is a fairly common human failing. Often when we someone criticizing another person, we recognize in them the same defect that they are criticizing. How
difficult it is to say that! It is not so much that this is always the case, but it is the case enough of the time that we should become self-reflective and self-aware so that we don’t do the same thing.
Generally Jesus is fairly meek and mild, even when he is stating truths that others may not want to hear. But in this section of the Gospel of Matthew, he is fierce. He is totally clear that all of us should follow certain norms in our lives and thus we may have to do what others tell us, even if the others are not doing it.
The challenge of true spirituality is to serve others without even noticing it. Jesus keeps telling us that if we want to be great, then we must serve everyone else almost as if we were slaves. We must also pay no attention to our service but simply serve.
Fr. Joseph Dovari