Commentary on the Gospel of
A priest began his homily thus: “I am ashamed to preach what I do not practice. However, if I were to preach what I practice, it would be far more embarrassing and I would be doubly ashamed.” Rare are the spiritual leaders whose words and deeds match perfectly. Only of Jesus can we say of being “Word Incarnate”; everyone else falls short, more or less. This awareness must produce two results: the leader must become humbly aware of this mismatch between his or her words and deeds and seek God’s Grace on a continual basis to bridge the gap; and the recipients of the ministry must look at him or her with compassion and understanding, and as Jesus advices today, must listen to their words while not necessarily imitating their actions. For imitation, the model of Jesus must suffice. We must also pray for the leaders as well as for ourselves, for we too fall short.