13 October 2013

posted 11 Oct 2013, 07:05 by C S Paul

13 October 2013

Sermons Based on the Lectionary of the Syrian Orthodox Church

Fifth Sunday after the Festival of the Cross/ Sleebo Feast

Gospel Reading for this Sunday 

Matthew 23:1-12 New King James Version (NKJV)

Woe to the Scribes and Pharisees

Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples,

saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.

Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. 

For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. 

But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. 

They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, 

greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’

But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. 

Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.

10 And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. 

11 But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. 

12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

Humility and Exaltation

by Rev. Dr. V. K. Thomas, Valiyaparambil


We all want to impress on other people. This is mostly a basic urge in us. We want to be seen as successful and better achievers than others. The newest car, biggest house, nicest clothes, better achieved children, from the most prestigious family that others are not from, and so on. We all have a tendency to become the lead dog. This desire to be the first, the best and to be admired by others has a name: PRIDE. What do we read about them? God tells us that "first will be last and last will be the first."

The Pharisees wanted others to see them as first and expected special treatment. They wanted others to be impressed with their piety and holiness.

Jesus spent a great deal of time uncovering the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. Jesus told his followers, "Do whatever they teach you and follow it, but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they preach."

A hypocrite is someone who pretends to be something he or she is not. Do we have hypocrites in our midst.? Yes, plenty!! There are many amongst us who do not practice what they say. Nobody is perfect. But at least we have to try not to be hypocrites.

Pride and ego cause us to become hypocrites. It actually hurts us. How? It hurts our relationships with others. We pretend to be somebody we are not because of our pride. We try to hide who we really are. Our pride and ego won't allow us to be real. We are too ashamed to admit that we are not better than others. Actually we have nothing to gain by pretending to be what we are not.

Like the Pharisees, we may be able to fool others to be looked up better to others than what we are. But being honest with and pleasing God should be far more important.

Bringing out our false pride and ego is not being honest with God. We may not realize, but most people around us see us through our pretensions and posturings. To them we are like a clear see-through glass. They may not say or express it. Our posturings and pretensions in reality do not impress them. They know us better than what we think they know of us. We need to be less concerned with our false pride and ego knowing that without God's grace and acceptance we are nobody. As the Bible says, all who humble themselves will be exalted, and all who exalt themselves will be humbled.

Let's Pray:

Praise the Lord, O my soul.
I will praise the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God while I live. . . Psalm 146

Praise the Lord,
my mind and memory,
my thoughts and deeds of this day.
I will praise the Lord wherever I go;
I will sing praise,
for the Lord is good.
Praise the Lord,
strangers and friends;
let us praise him for he loves us;
let us sing praise to our God while we live.

Glory to the Father. . .