26 August 2017: Authentic Christian Living

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Saturday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1: Ru. 2:1-3, 8-11; 4:13-17;  Gospel: Mt. 23: 1-12

The leaders of our times, be it in the political or religious realms, try to impress people and gain power and popularity through various means like speeches, social initiatives, fashion statements, donations and the like. Most often, it is very easy to see through all their shallow stunts and gymnastics to only impress. This is because of the fact that they are trying to project themselves as someone who they really are not. Their lack of authenticity creates insecurity within and forms a vacuum in their life which they try to fill with many external elements. The religious leaders during Jesus’ time seem to be no different.

On the contrary, when a leader is authentic in his words and deeds, he does not need any other means to impress people. This is a tested and proven fact in history. Jesus Himself serves as the best example. In today’s Gospel, Jesus comes down heavily on hypocrisy and double standards. He admonished the leaders not merely by His words, but also by His exemplary life. He said, “The greatest among you will be your servant” (Mt. 23:11) and during the Last Supper He washed His disciples’ feet. He humbled Himself and today we know that there has been no one in history who has influenced and continues to influence human existence as Jesus did. Mother Mary is yet another example of the same.

What can we concretely learn from all these? True power flows from and can be experienced only through an authentic life. As a follower of Christ, how is my lifestyle? Can I really say that I am living an authentic life after the example of Christ? Or am I trying to hide behind routine practices, flowery words and false ideologies? If I call myself a follower of Christ, it is high time that I start to really follow Christ, not merely in words but also in deeds, and be an authentic Christian in my life and being.

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