Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, ‘The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them. They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long. They love to have the place of honor at banquets…’” (Mt 23: 1-6)

The Lord reminds me here to regard the teaching, the principles, taught by legitimate teachers of the Law of God, regardless of their behavior or personalities. Jesus is not silent about the defects of the scribes and Pharisees, but He points out their legitimate authority, because they “sit,” as He says, “on Moses’ seat,” and He commands that the people “do whatever they teach.”

It is a common phenomenon, I think, of any institution that involves human beings, including the Church, that its leaders and teachers sometimes inspire criticism rather than admiration. But Christ puts my mind to rest on this account, because He lets me know He is well aware of it. In other words, God allows for this humbling reality, of His teaching being passed on – not by angels – but by those who, like me, are often far from perfect. Just as, time and again, He allows imperfect human beings to become parents.

So we are raised and taught by other human beings, imperfect as we are, throughout life, learning from one another nonetheless. Today I am grateful to Him for this humbling reality, that He has such faith in us, despite our imperfections.

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