Gospel: Matthew 23:1‐12

Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach, but they do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them. All their works are performed to be seen. They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels. They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues, greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’ As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’ You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers. Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven. Do not be called ‘Master’; you have but one master, the Christ. The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”


In this passage, Jesus speaks out about hypocrisy. Jesus spoke about the Pharisees, and while they were the prime teachers of law, the ones who are believed to profess the very word of God, they never fully lived up to these standards. Instead, they distorted their set “standards” by acting righteously, wearing extravagant garments, claiming important seats in synagogues, and expecting to be called “Rabbi.”

I believe this is applicable to everyone’s lives, since we all can be hypocritical. We all, from time to time, aim to be someone we are not, by the clothes we wear and people we interact with. We all want to feel important or better than others. However, this is when being hypocritical is most frequent.

Instead, we should be who we are, and always be modest about the gifts we are given. As Jesus said, “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” So, do you practice what you preach?

Carly Zoladz, 16, St. Patrick’s Parish, Kankakee
VYC 2012 Delegate
  • Being Viatorian is important to me because the people within the Viatorian Community all seem to strive to accomplish one thing, and that is to help others in need. Whether it is physically, such as the work they do in Belize, or spiritually, among the youth within the church, I firmly believe that what Viatorians are doing is important and very special to me.
  • This Lenten season, one thing I am doing to grow closer to God is reflecting on a Bible passage every night, and how it applied to my day.