Isaiah 1:10,16-20; Ps 50 To the upright I will show the saving power of God; Matthew 23:1-12
In the gospel Jesus does not paint a good picture of the Scribes and Pharisees. The way he sees they are hunger for all the wrong things; they want to be noticed, pointed out, held in high esteem, recognized, honored, even appreciated.
Yet, with all that they seem to do nothing that benefits anyone, "they tie up heavy burdens hard to carry and lay them on people's shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them."
Wow! Sometimes we like to get on our own high horse or our own pedestal. Preaching is easy. Practice is a little harder. Jesus isn't saying we shouldn't preach it to reach it. But we should practice it to maximize it.
The name of the game isn't about titles, or recognition, or honor. It is about rolling up the sleeves and getting dirty.
The other day my nephew approached by mother about sewing a knee patch on to his pants. He had worn them through. He had been busy with much play. Wouldn't it be good if we had to worry about patches from much service.
Jesus' final exaltation is the nail to drive it home, "Th greatest among you must be your servant;whoever humbles himself will be exalted."
So here is a good lenten practice:
"Serve those who do not seem to appreciate the service!"
In the words of St Josemaria Escriva, "Don't flutter around like a hen, when you can soar to the heights of an eagle."
Soaring involves humbling ourselves in service then we shall find the place well occupied with Christ who serves us, though we don't much appreciate it either. Isn't that want redemption is, a gift from another we seldom appreciate it.
If you want to soar then you have go low in order to get high.