The Chair of Moses 31 Sunday A 2017

Friends, as I read today's first reading (Mal. 1: 14b - 2: 2b; 2: 8-10), I stuck to warnings that the Lord the Sabaoth gives to priests because they have deviated from the way and through their teaching have caused the fall of many. They no longer adhere to God's ways but show partiality. They have destroyed the covenant with Levi. They act tirelessly against each other. These were caught in the pursuit of money and power and no longer stood between God and the people. It is the same theme that is also taken up in the gospel (Matthew 23: 1-12). Jesus warns the people of the Scribes and Pharisees who, like today's priests, do not act according to their teachings. The Scribes and Pharisees have sat on the Chair Moses. They tie heavy burdens together and put them on the shoulders of others, but they themselves do not lift a finger to help them. " They did everything for people to notice them. As we have burning questions in the Church in our time, they had similar questions that were sensitive to most. Like the people of Jesus’ time, we face the same challenges. The conflict between Jesus and the Scribes and Pharisees ended in Jesus' crucifixion. To resist today's conspiracy against the word of God among false priests, prophets, apostles and society can be compared to martyrdom.

The Church has betrayed God and society and the family has failed the Church. The family which is the cornerstone of life in society has failed to bring up children who are God’s fearing. Our world is filled with people who want to be exalted, people who always want to be at the center of things and want everyone else to serve them. Whether in the Church or in our traditional life, we ​​put on long robes, pursuing all manner of both traditional and religious titles and want to get the place of honour always and everywhere. There are many in our Churches who do not care about God, who do not let God into their life. This is a shame. God does not punish sin, but sin punishes itself. The words humility, honour, integrity, truth have become scarce commodities in our world. Jesus addresses what may be considered one of the greatest challenges of our time- how to be great: "The greatest among you shall be the servant of the others ..." (Matthew 23:12). This is what Paul refers to when he writes: "For tenderness, we would love to give you not only the gospel of God but also our own life ..." (1Thess 2: 7b-9, 13). Those who hear the word must not take it as human words but the word of God, which shows its power with in believers.

We are involved in the world. We are incarnated in a body. We cannot free ourselves from this participation. It may be seen as a human predicament, dilemma. What is certain is that there is no assurance against the accidents of life. Neither God nor life leaves security, guarantees. This world is not yet heaven. The awareness of the uncertainty in everything should lead to increased vigilance and humility for the mystery of life. Without being prepared for the unknown, you do not live a real life. Problems are cases for science to solve. Problems can be eliminated.  Mystery, on the other hand, calls for personal decision. The 1st and 2nd of November celebrated the All Saints and All Souls respectively. All Saints Day is a celebration of our glory. Heaven is our home, our destination. This day, we celebrate the uncountable number of saints from all peoples and tribes and countries and languages. In this countless crowd are some of the ones we knew and loved, people we grieved and mourn when they departed us. On the day of All Souls, we celebrated all who have gone before us but who are in a state of purification. These two feasts also teach us something about death. If we understand death in a fleshly way, then we have not learnt anything, then it will be absurd. Death is a mystery. The immortal soul lives in the body as in its tabernacle. We walk as pilgrims through the perishable and await the imperishable of heaven. (Letter to Diognetius).

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­We live in age of a post-truth. We live at a time when facts do not count any longer. It is a time when persuasion is more important than facts. Lies may be sold shamelessly as long as it is persuasive. With the religious criticism of the Enlightenment and socialism, humanity entered a new stage. The Christian hope on eternity is turned into a worldly utopian- Marxism that replaced the hope of heaven with classless society. What values ​​a human being has plays a decisive role on how that person reflects or relates to fellow human beings. For one to be free from terror, it is one who with greatness meets the unknown, unpredictable and unrealistic with calm. God's fear is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom (Proverbs 1: 7). Death is like the supremacy of God's incomprehensibility. Work out your salvation with fear and prayer (Phil. 2:12). We face God's judgment. God's fear is the opposite of spiritual pride. This was the sin of the priests, Scribes and Pharisees.

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