Dear Friends,

Sister Evangeline talking to an elderly SisterThis weekend I was fortunate to hear a very good homily at Mass so I thought I would share some parts of it with you. It definitely left me with lots to think about and share.

The deacon of the parish started out by saying that he was tolerant of many things but the one thing that really pushed his buttons was ‘the look’. In talking with his children, family, co-workers he would get furious when they gave him ‘the look’ after he finished talking. At home, he would bang his hand on the table and the dishes would go flying.

Well, in this week’s Gospel, it appears that the Pharisees pushed Jesus’ buttons. In preaching to the crowd, he told them, “Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry and lay them on people’s shoulders but do not lift a finger to move them. All their works are preformed to be seen….” (Matthew 23:3-5). Jesus detested the fact that those in authority lorded it over others. It was so different from Jesus’ style of leading by example.

It makes me think about how I lead or act when doing so out of an authority position. How do we act as a parent, co-worker in charge, or sister to sister? Do we use our authority to bind people or to free them? Does it come to that old saying of “do what I say and not what I do”? All of us are in some sort of authority situation. The question we must ask ourselves is how do we deal with the power that goes with that authority? Jesus reminds us, “The greatest among you must be your servant” (Matthew 23:11). In today’s day and age, I think that is a great challenge as we tend to want to be #1.

The deacon finished by saying that if he met us on the street and we had a discussion, please don’t give him ‘the look’. His words gave me a lot to think about. How do I treat others? Do I practice what I preach? Do I live out that servant model? We constantly need to look at what Jesus is teaching. We need to see if we can learn and change our attitudes and lives to live out the Gospel message. It may take a lifetime, but will be well worth it in the end.

Till next week,

Sr. Theresita

Sr. Theresita Donach shares this weekly reflection via e-mail with a group of women discerning their vocation. If you are interested in joining that online community, please e-mail tdonach@nazarethcsfn.org .

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