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Association of the Miraculous Medal
Gospel Reflection for November 5

Besides her great privilege of being the Mother of God, Mary was also her Son’s first disciple. She is often called the Model, or Exemplar of the Church. Following her example, we walk with her through the Gospels as we reflect on her response to God in her life.

November 5, 2017 — Thirty First Sunday in Ordinary Time

Matthew 23:1-12
 Father Oscar Lukefahr, C.M.

In the game, Simon Says, participants are asked to listen to the leader for an instruction to follow like, “Simon Says, ‘Pat your head.’” If the instruction doesn’t include the words, “Simon Says,” the participant shouldn’t do what the leader says.  Imagine if the leader of the game touches his ear but said, “Simon Says, ‘Pat your head.’”  More than likely most participants will follow the visual action of the leader instead of listening to the verbal instruction. After all, why would the leader do something other than his spoken instruction?

Just like the game, this is what Jesus meant when he told the crowds and his disciples to do and observe all things the Scribes and Pharisees told them to do, but not to follow their actions. The Jewish people depended on the Pharisees to give them the answers to their questions about rules from the Old Testament. They would often tell the Jewish people to do one thing while doing the exact opposite. What do you think would be easier to do – follow what you hear or what you see? Jesus warned the crowd to not follow the actions of the Pharisees.

As Christians, Jesus wants us to follow his example. What we say and do should always reflect our faith.  How often do we tell others what they should do and how they should live, but we don’t follow our own advice? Our family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and even non-believers are watching and listening to us. How is our faith being reflected? Would Jesus say, “Do what he tells you to do, but don’t follow his example?”


Read last week's reflection.