Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

November 5, 2017
Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 151

A Reading for the Gospel according to Matthew
Mt 23:1-12

Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,
"The scribes and the Pharisees
have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
but do not follow their example.
For they preach but they do not practice.
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.
All their works are performed to be seen.
They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation 'Rabbi.'
As for you, do not be called 'Rabbi.'
You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
Call no one on earth your father;
you have but one Father in heaven.
Do not be called 'Master';

you have but one master, the Christ. The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted."

Salesian Sunday Reflection
Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

In today’s Gospel Jesus tells us that we must be good and faithful servants who care for God’s law and people. St. Francis de Sales notes:

Our Lord desires only that we be totally open to God's will for us. When we embrace God’s will we consecrate our hearts to God’s love. We desire to serve God faithfully in both great and small tasks. Flies bother us not because of their strength, but because of their numbers. So it is that many trifling tasks give us more trouble than important ones. While we must be attentive to the tasks God has committed to our care, we must not be worried about them. Worry hinders our ability to reason and clouds our good judgment. So, without hurry, try to calmly do your tasks in order one after the other. Order carefully what is at hand today with a calm mind. Tomorrow you will order something else.

Anxiety is a desire to escape a present evil or acquire a hoped for good. When we do not succeed in the way we want, we grow anxious and impatient. Nothing impedes our progress in holy love more than anxiety. That is why we must take great care to have our heart pliant and open to God’s love. When we allow divine love to govern our tasks, we have no less love than when we pray. Our work and our rest joyously praise and serve God. Then our daily tasks gild as it were a work of holiness. For a single cup of water, our Savior has promised a sea of perfect bliss to his faithful.

We are open to God’s will when we perform with love our little daily acts of charity and accept all the little trials throughout the day. Such opportunities present themselves from moment to moment. To do little actions with a great purity of intention to please God is to do them excellently. Then our daily tasks increase divine love, for we live Jesus who teaches us how to be good and faithful servants of God.

(Adapted from the writings of St. Francis de Sales)