When Christian Leadership Falls Short of Jesus’ Ideal
Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A – November 5th, 2017
Today’s Gospel text from Matthew 23:1-12 comes from a very polemical chapter of the first Gospel. We learn once again of the bitter conflict between Pharisaic Judaism and Matthew’s ecclesial community. Our episode contains a clear denunciation by Jesus of the scribes and Pharisees, and contains material that is unique to Matthew’s Gospel.
In the first section of chapter 23, the focus is on religious teachers and their responsibility for ordinary people. Jesus criticizes his religious opponents (many of whom were Pharisees). The reference to the Pharisees’ “sitting on the seat