Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

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Lectionary: 151
Read the Gospel: Matthew 23: 1-12

Gospel Summary
Some, not all, of the Jewish leaders wanted people to recognize them for the high position they held. They wanted to sit in the best seats at banquets and in the synagogues. They wanted people to make a fuss over them when they met, so they were certain to wear clothing and items that would distinguish their high position. Jesus assured these leaders that the only way they would truly be exalted would be to be humbled.

Reflection for Families
Few people can humble us as quickly as our children. They might embarrass us by their public behavior, or they might make reference to our age or choice in clothing style. What will our response tell them about us? When we try to maintain our position of authority over them, we are likely to heighten the confrontation. We know from experience that we gain little ground. Often humor is the best antidote. It may require some wit on our part to respond lightly to their criticism or public behavior, but usually another time will present itself to share with them how we were really feeling at the moment. Their respect for us will develop as they continue to see us model appropriate responses without using our weapons of power and authority.

Bringing the Gospel Into Your Family
Some support and recovery groups suggest that we try to do an act of kindness each day for someone and not let anyone know we did the act. This is a way of acting humbly when we serve another anonymously. Try to think as a family of someone who might benefit from an action on your part. Plan a way of doing it so that no one knows you were responsible. Pay attention to opportunities in the future and perform Òrandom acts of kindnessÓ as often as possible.

Discussion Starters

  1. Someone whose leadership style I really admire is...because...
  2. I am most likely to show my power and authority when...
  3. I know people who try to make themselves important. When they do this I...