Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Matthew 23: 1-12
“As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’ You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.” Jesus does not conclude this statement by naming a teacher. But He affirms we all need to have a teacher. We may or may not acknowledge but we have that one who has power over us. We call them different names including Rabbi, guru, mentor, motivator, role model, influencer, etc.
Everyone needs a teacher.
The teacher is the one who molds your thoughts, defines your words, and shapes your actions. Your choices are heavily dependent on your teacher. You are indebted to the teacher for what you are. Many a teacher do not know who their students are. Worse, most of the students do not know whom they are following!
Your teacher selection may not be the result of a conscious process. The teacher you follow may not be a real person, but an ideology or even a philosophy. If you are not careful you will end up a student of a teacher who will lead you to your doom. You end up the student of a particular teacher especially when you blindly follow the trend, the crowd, or the market.
Who is your teacher?
The answer may be tricky. You may find the answer by observing yourself closely.
The dress you wear may give a clue. If you dress to impress, the market is your teacher and master. When you try to look like a celebrity, you let the celebrity be your teacher.
There is a chance that you let money be your master and teacher. It is evident when money is the norm in your choices and decisions.
“You have but one teacher.”
Jesus was talking to those who were listening to Him seriously. He was referring to himself. You are a Christian when Jesus is chosen as your only teacher and master. If you count Jesus one among many teachers, then Jesus doesn’t count you among His followers. Jesus is the final authority; Jesus is the final point of reference.
Then some sat on the ‘Chair of Moses.’ Now some are sitting on the chairs of the apostles. Jesus did not deny their authority but rather affirmed their authority. They are in authority as long as they refer to Jesus.
You are sitting on the ‘Chair of Christ.’
Sitting on the chair of authority is not limited to ordained or consecrated people in the Church. Even those who count themselves as ordinary layman has the authority given by Jesus; the authority to be the witness of Jesus Christ. The most important saints in the Church are a married couple; Joseph and Mary from the tiny village of Nazareth.
Make the most of your authority, and be a true witness to Jesus Christ always.