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Being Jesus’ disciples

August 20, Saturday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time/Memorial of Saint Bernard, Abbot, and Doctor of the Church
Daily Readings: Ezekiel 43:1-7ab  & Gospel: Matthew 23:1-12

"Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, but whoever humbles himself will be exalted."

The Gospel today reminds us clearly of the attitude of being Jesus’ disciples: genuine witnessing of God’s teaching; always remembering that we have only one Father and one Teacher; and lastly, to do service with integrity.

Many of us are similar to the Pharisees of Jesus' time in that we pray, observe the Law, and contribute tithes. But what is it about them that Jesus teaches us not to imitate? They no longer make God the focal point of their lives. They despise people who do not live up to their standards. They lack affection. And Jesus invites us to be prudent, to place God above all things, and to be authentic witnesses to his message.

"Do not be called ‘Master’; you have but one master, Christ." To be Jesus’ disciple means to live a life of humility and simplicity. It is to avoid any form of superiority, domination, or showing off.

It empowers and enables others to live their lives with dignity as they are. It is to realize that whatever we are going to say or do is for the glory of God, the Father, and Master of all.

"The greatest among you must be your servant." This reminder and invitation is clear and yet challenging to all of us. Greatness is seen in love, in being willing to serve the needs of others, as Jesus did. It requires our sincerity and integrity.

We can ask ourselves: what does serving mean for me in my life today? Am I serving others with love? Am I aware of the areas where I still lack integrity as this gospel speaks about?

Let us pray that we may imitate our Master, Jesus Christ, and serve Him and His people as humble servants with loving and compassionate hearts.


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.