In our life we all have different teachers. We have teachers at school, sports trainers, music teachers, driving instructors, etc. They help us to learn things much faster than if we tried to learn everything by ourselves. But in today’s Gospel Jesus asks us to call no one ‘Rabbi’ (Teacher) or ‘Master’. So is Jesus asking us not to listen to our teachers anymore?
“As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’ You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers. Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven. Do not be called ‘Master’; you have but one master, the Messiah.”
And is he asking us not to call our earthly father “father” anymore? But at the same time God asks us to respect our parents. How can we understand this passage?
Our one and only true teacher and master is Jesus. For all the practical and spiritual things in our life we need teachers to learn them. Mathematics, playing an instrument, driving a car, formation for our job, etc. But we should never lose focus of Heaven, of the Salvation of our Soul. I work a lot for myself, for my Family, but do I sometimes forget about thinking of God’s presence in my life? Do I only focus on the material things or also on the spiritual?
“The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
For the growth of our spiritual life we have the Sacraments, Holy Scripture, the life of the Saints, spiritual conferences, the homilies of our priests. They are here to lead us to Christ, for He is our true Master and Saviour. Jesus gives us the right example. He is the Servant who shows us the true way of Charity. He humbled himself at the Cross to show us the Way and to give us life. He teaches us how to love in humble service.
So we need teachers to learn earthly things, but Jesus asks us not to forget about heavenly things. In this world where many people are centred on themselves and their own satisfactions, let us focus more on God and on loving Him and our neighbours. So we can, with Jesus, give to the world an example of love and service, for He shows us the way to heaven.