They used religious practices to draw attention to themselves (Mt 23:5).
They liked to receive honor and respect (Mt 23:6-7).
In summary, the religious leaders of Jesus' time were bad examples because they were proud.
Religious leaders are not the only people tempted to fall into the sin of pride. At times, we all are like the prideful scribes and Pharisees. We should recognize this sin in our lives and repent of it. Furthermore, to resist the temptation to pride, we must do the three things Jesus told the scribes and Pharisees to do — avoid occasions of this sin, serve others, and humble ourselves.
We must take initiative in fighting pride by intentionally humbling ourselves (Mt 23:12). We should not primarily be on the defense as we try to keep the devil from making us proud. Instead, the devil should have to try to keep us from becoming humble. Humble yourself. Attack pride.
Prayer: Father, send the Spirit to teach me how to humble myself.
Promise: "Though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow." —Is 1:18
Praise: Maria practices turning the spotlight on God or on others rather than be tempted to claim it for herself.
(For a related teaching, order our tape Arrogance on audio AV 52-1 or video V-52.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from February 1, 2008 through March 31, 2008. †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 14, 2007.
The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.