Luke 11: 42-46
“But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and herbs of all kinds, and neglect justice and the love of God; it is these you ought to have practiced, without neglecting the others. Woe to you Pharisees! For you love to have the seat of honor in the synagogues and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces.
Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without realizing it.” One of the lawyers answered him, “Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us too.” And he said, “Woe also to you lawyers! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not lift a finger to ease them.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)
Today’s gospel speaks of the hazard of the love of honor. “Woe to you Pharisees” Jesus proclaims, “you love the seats of honor in the synagogues and the greetings in the market places.” The media have provided us with countless examples of doors opening and the best laid out for those whom society has designated as great. The temptation we may have is to hold this vision as a lifestyle or possibly an occasional wish. At least if we could get a better parking space. . . .
The greatest antidote against the desire for honor is the constant recollection that there are lots of people in the world who have sacrificed more, are more intelligent, and have achieved more. Publicity does not make people; it simply makes people known. The great saints realized that bringing honor to God who honored us with so many gifts is the greatest goal. Certainly that was the case with Ignatius who saw his life project as advancing the “Greater Glory and Honor of God.”
—Fr. Michael Maher, S.J.
Protect us from egos that seek personal glory over glorifying God. Give us wisdom to realize that all that really matters is honoring your will. Strengthen us this day so we sidestep the temptation of earthly applause just to appear a little more important to the detriment of doing what is truly important.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team