Memorial of Saint Bernard, abbot and doctor of the Church
Ruth 2:1-3, 8-11; 4:13-17
Many of us can talk the talk, but how many of us actually walk the walk? That’s the question that emerges for me from today’s Gospel reading.
Jesus points out that the "scribes and the Pharisees" are very good at talking about the law, telling others what they should believe and how they should behave. In doing this they lay heavy burdens on others and expect to be honored and given public marks of respect by everyone. On those occasions when they do good works, they make sure everyone notices and gives them credit.
Clearly, Jesus doesn’t want us to behave in these ways. He wants us to lift burdens from the people in our lives and do good works whether anyone notices or not. He tells us that it is in serving others that we faithfully follow him.
It sounds good and Jesus is really clear. But, how do I follow these instructions of Jesus when I’m a parent and need to guide my children? Or, a spouse and am in an argument with my mate? Or, a supervisor at work who needs to make sure the job gets done? Or, a priest who needs to teach the truths of the faith?
In every case it’s a lot easier to give instructions (talk the talk) than it is to treat those around us like Christ would (walk the walk). Perhaps our prayer today is that God will help us to talk less and walk in Christ’s footsteps more!
Fr. Michael Higgins, C.P. is the director the Development Office for Holy Cross Province and is stationed at Immaculate Conception Community in Chicago.