When we go astray, God is always beckoning us back to him. In today's first reading from Isaiah 1, it's put like this: "Come now, let us set things right, says the LORD: Though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow."
In the Gospel reading from Matthew 23, Jesus tells His disciples to do what the scribes and Pharisees tell them, but not to imitate them. They did not practice what they preached. He ends with this: "Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted."
This is another one of those sayings that is true both here on earth and in the hereafter. Life has a way of humbling those who exalt themselves. Sooner or later folks find out that they have feet of clay. Humble servants have a way of getting noticed as well, though they would probably prefer that not happen. See the lives of the saints, as an example. But even if neither of those things happen while on earth, it will surely happen in eternity.
Father, humble us when we exalt ourselves, and give us true humility, that we may be exalted by you, through your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.
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