Scripture Reflection - November 5, 2017
"Do as I say, not as I do." I'm sure everyone has heard this phrase more than once in their lives when an authority figure seemed hypocritical in their actions versus instructions. I had one teacher in high school that liked the phrase, "Do as I think, not as I say." This took it to the next level. Be so in tune with the other that you know their intention, even when what they say doesn't articulate that clearly.
Jesus, in talking to the disciples about the Pharisees and Scribes, essentially says, "Do as they say, not as they do." They preach and proclaim the right teachings, but don't follow them in their own actions. Their intent is not in the right place.
Following Jesus means, as my teacher asked, doing as he thinks. It also means doing as he says and does. It means understanding and knowing the will of God. This only comes about through an intimate relationship, much like that of old married couples, who know the other so well that no words are needed to understand the intention of the other. Doing as Jesus thinks takes time. It takes prayer. It takes discernment.
This season, as we remember the saints that came before us, think of one or two that did as Jesus thought. This might have resulted in beautiful writings, giving up their life in martyrdom, being in service to a marginalized population, or just being attentive to God in the everyday. How might you take aspects of the lives of these holy men and women, along with your own listening to God, to do as Jesus thinks?
Jesus, help me to be more in tune with you, so that I may carry out your will in my life. May my actions be a witness to Gospel values. May my heart and hands be your heart and hands. Amen.
Sister Jennifer Schaaf, O.P.