Practice what you preach, it seems super basic doesn’t it? Well so is eating healthy and many of us don’t do that. So is sleeping enough but then midnight comes around and we are still up watching this or that show. Some of the simplest things in the world can be the things we struggle with the most. That was certainly the case for the scribes and the Pharisees in the Gospel today. Preaching for them was an easy thing. They knew the law, they knew the word of God, they knew how to talk about it, and they had status and power in their communities to do so, the hard part was to put what they preached into practice. This is where they ultimately failed.
I always give the Pharisees a really hard time. I look at them in the Gospels and think, “How could they be so stupid?” The son of God is literally walking amongst them, the One they have been waiting for, and instead of throwing a massive celebration, they are suspicious. Suspicious to the point of turning him in and playing a role in his very death. They had one job to do. Preach the word of God and prepare the world for the coming of the Messiah. Well the Messiah came and they themselves weren’t ready, so how could they possibly prepare the way?
So I look at them and give them a super hard time, and then I know that gaze needs to immediately turn and focus on myself. Something I believe I have been gifted with is an ability to give talks and engage a crowd. I love speaking to large groups of people about the faith. When you do this over and over and the audiences start growing it can be very easy to slip into the mentality of the Pharisees. Your “job” so to speak becomes helping others with their spiritual lives, and not caring so much about yours. I remember a time I was giving a talk on prayer for a Diocesan retreat once and halfway through the talk I realized I hadn’t prayed in a long time. Now, I worked for the Diocese so I was praying a lot for work, but I wasn’t personally reaching out to the Lord.
This was a wake up call for me. Hopefully this blog post is the same wake up call for all of us. Do we practice what we preach? You might work at a Diocese or parish. Do you go to Mass as much as you are able? I know I need to work on this. I could swing daily Mass every single day, but other things pile up. The point here is not to feel bad about ourselves and wallow in self-pity. The point is just to ask, what more can we do to practice what we preach?
Jesus had some harsh words for the Pharisees because they knew the law and didn’t follow it. Let’s pray for the grace to know the law and follow the One who came to set us free. From all of us here at Rodzinka Ministry, God bless!
Tommy Shultz is the Founder/Director of Rodzinka Ministry and the Director of Faith Formation for the North Allegan Catholic Collaborative. In these roles, he is committed to bringing all those he meets into a deeper relationship with Christ. Tommy has a heart and flair for inspiring people to live their faith every day. He has worked in various youth ministry, adult ministry, and diocesan roles. He has been a featured speaker at retreats and events across the country. With a degree in Theology from Franciscan University, Tommy hopes to use his knowledge to help all people understand the beauty of The Faith. Contact Tommy at email@example.com or check out his website at rodzinkaministry.com.
Feature Image Credit: Nycholas Benaia, https://unsplash.com/photos/2wGjjX8Qb-g