A few days ago, the daily Mass readings included Jesus' warning: Beware of the scribes! The warning has remained in my thoughts even though have been very hard at work during the daylight hours and then needing rest and dealing with increased pain in the night hours.
Yesterday morning, while waiting for the spinal headache to abate some, I found this commentary in Bensons's Biblical Commentary. Today I pray to beware present day "scribes" and beseech the Lord that I be preserved from pride, arrogance, and all forms of "lording it over others."
In Jesus' day, the scribes had evolved not only from writing and copying religious laws, they also were heavily into embellishing and interpreting the laws of which they utilized to make themselves seem all the more grandiose and superior to others.
I am extra thankful for the increased pain following trying to install the heavy French doors, with help from the neighbor boys--two brothers who came in shifts to assist me. Although the doors do not fit on all the hinges and do not close--!--I have a bag of cement up against them and also stuffed plastic bags as best I could around the openings to help keep out the crisp, cold air.
Added pain, such as a far worse spinal headache than yesterday's, can remind of our mortal limitations, of our weaknesses, yet of our attempts to persevere. While I have no idea when and if anyone can return to help figure out why the door hinges do not all line up and why the doors do not close in their frame, I do know that I desire to be humbled and to be humble. Humility is the key to all graces; we must be thankful for any aspect in our daily lives that promotes humility.
From Benson's on Mark 12:38-40 Beware of the scribes:
"See that ye do not imitate their hypocrisy, or imbibe their principles, and be on your guard against their insidious counsels and designs." There was an absolute necessity for these repeated cautions of our Lord. For, considering the inveterate prejudices of these scribes against Him and His doctrine, it could never be supposed that the common people would receive the gospel till these incorrigible blasphemers of it were brought to a just disgrace.
Yet He delayed speaking in this manner till a little before His passion, as knowing what effect it would quickly produce. "Which love to go in long clothing...." Here our Lord assigns the reason why He bid His disciples "beware" of imitating them.
They were excessively proud and arrogant, as was plain from their affected gravity of dress, from the anxiety which they discovered to get the principal seats at feasts, and all public meetings, as things belonging to them, on account of their superior worth, and from their courting to be saluted in the streets with particular marks of respect, and to be addressed with the sounding titles of rabbi, father, and master, thinking such public acknowledgments of their merits due from all who met them."
We can look about in our own lives, and beware of those who may be similar in some fashion or form, in some manner of behavior or speaking or writing, in some attitude of arrogant thought and bearing. We must beware these types of people--and beware that we do not imitate or follow suit.
What matters to God? What is God's law that is the fulfillment of all other laws? These must be our concerns and our guiding principles. Love God. Love others as ourselves. Seek union with Jesus Christ. Take His yoke upon us and follow Him.
God bless His Real Presence in us! Little children, let us love one another for God Is Love!