"Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes
and accept greetings in the marketplaces,
seats of honor in synagogues,
and places of honor at banquets.
They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext
recite lengthy prayers.
They will receive a very severe condemnation." Mark 12:38-40
These familiar words of Jesus always make my blood boil. They bring to mind people who clearly are overly invested in their own self importance. Often these are the very people whose mission is to serve us and the rest of the human family: religious leaders, political leaders, scholars, successful people of all kinds. Those who are rich in the goods of this world can tend to feel that they are worth more as human beings than those who are poor or suffer lack. Sometimes these are quite ordinary people whose sense of self importance blinds them to the plight of others and the call from the Divine One to care for them, to be concerned about them, to just take them into account.
Psalm 146 is used in today's liturgy and it makes clear that those who are part of the Reign of God established by Jesus the Christ are to be different: to feed the hungry, provide relief to the imprisoned, to attend to those on the margins of society, to pay attention to those whom the world forgets and counts as unimportant. A reading of this psalm provides a wonderful format for an examination of my life and the ways in which I respond or fail to respond to the call to discipleship.
The real problem is not the scribe without, but the scribe within...and there is a scribe in each of us, in me. Will my life express my "scribeness" or my discipleship?
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Location:Charissa Run,Rochester,United States