In Matthew 23:3 Jesus says to the disciples and the crowd, “Do not do as the Scribes and Pharisees do tie up heavy burdens hard to bear and lay them on the shoulders of others, but they themselves are unwilling to move them.”
How often are we ourselves challenged with burdens that only we can take responsibility for as much as we would like to pass the onus onto some else?
Sometimes when what I face is daunting I turn over my anxiety to God and ask him to help me through the issue. Recently, I begin to pray a novena,
(A novena is a series of prayers that are said for nine straight days, usually as a prayer of petition but sometimes as a prayer of thanksgiving. The nine days recall the nine days that the Apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary spent in prayer between Ascension Thursday & Pentecost Sunday) or issues that I really needed God’s and the Saints I prayed to help with to achieve a successful outcome.
23:5 “The Pharisee’s and Scribes do all their deeds to be seen by others.”
I have always thought that if I needed to defer to self-praise or was entitled to praise from others then my actions were all about me and not about what I did. I have often found that I really appreciate praise for just doing things that I normally do. That is nothing out of the ordinary, waving the traffic through morning and afternoon, welcoming a new student to the school who comments on that when he or she are leaving for high school or the celebration of a mass where the person said that felt God was present.
23:6 “They love to have the best place at synagogues and to be greeted with respect in the market places.”
Often, I feel embarrassed if I am offered a place of honour at a celebration. I would prefer to sit inconspicuously with everyone else and treated as one of the crowd. To be honoured is not sitting at the best seat in the venue but to be acknowledged and respected by your peers for the contribution you have made in their lives.
In the end, my life will be judged on the responsible decisions I make that affect others, my ability to act humbly and the influence I had on people’s lives hopefully always acting in accordance with doing God’s will.