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The good news for the day August 20

Saturday of the twentieth Week in Ordinary Time (424)

Jesus says to the public as well as students:  “Educated people and religious leaders have assumed the mantle of Moses. So, do and obey all the things—whatever—they tell you, but do not follow their example; they talk their preaching but they do not practice it. They strap of you heavy loads hard to carry and lay them across people’s shoulders; but they won’t lift a finger to lighten them. Everything they do is performed for the sake of publicity. They exaggerate their religious affiliation; they wear very distinctive clothes. They love head tables at banquets, seats of honor in houses of prayer, respectful deference in public, and distinctive titles As for you, do not be called ‘Religious Teacher. ”You have only one teacher—because you are all one family. Call no one on earth your father; you have just one Father in the realm of what is right. Do not let yourself be called the ‘One At The Top’; you have only one there—the One Who Changes Things. The most important among you must be the one who serves you most. Whoever sets himself or herself above others will be humbled; but modest people will be raised up above others.” (Matthew 23)

This section of the Gospel requires caution; it is easy to paint signs of “Christian self-publicity” on people other than ourselves. You and I point to flashy bishops, self-important preachers and televangelists—rather than examine our own hearts.

We all do it—brag convictions, faith and devotedness—our “goodness”—but not for good reasons. I may call attention to my commitment to Jesus or our persecuted Christian faith, or extraordinary patience, generosity or even adult belief. The person gets the publicity and the audience nods agreement and praises the person—and too often forgets the real Father.

People do this, without realizing it, too often to call attention to myself. People fail to repent and focus on our Father and His will. It happens–confusing faith and religion as something to publicize—rather than serving humbly, quietly. People need to know your faith by what you do.

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