Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A - 30/10/2011 - Gospel: Mt 23, 1-12
Children look to their parents for guidance and protection. They learn their way of life from parents. Parents become the role models for their children. What parents do and say will influence them. Children learn from parents because parents are the first teachers who teach the schools of faith and school of wisdom and knowledge. Children learn with love and trust. They believe that no one is better than their parents. Parents know all.

No one is an island in this planet but we live with and for others. This means our way of life somehow will make an impact upon others. When children grow older their view of life are widened because they learn from a wider society. Apart from official teaching, namely school life and the Church's teaching they learn from the world's celebrities.  Sport and movie stars play a big part in influencing the lives of young people. It depends on their popularity. The more popular they are the more they influence upon the lives of young people. The young mimic the stars' movements, language, costume, behaviour and way of life.  They are their fans. Their way of life and the young are interwoven.
Leaders of a society with different policies greatly burdened the life of people in that society. Some of the policies change our way of living, not by choice but by force. When that happens changes are not for better. Mismanagement and corporate materialism contribute to the world downturn. Changes interfere, not just pattern of our daily activities but hinder the pattern of faith's activities. 

Jesus advised His hearers to observe the teaching of the community leaders. Listen to them and observe their teaching but do not follow their way of life because they don't practice what they preach.

Civil leaders of the modern world often talk about serving the community and are for the community but they actually want to win more votes. Whatever means that would give them more votes this is what they would do. They care for the community but when choices are available they are all in favour of winning more votes. Some are happy to go down the path of popularity to win more votes even though that path contradicts the teaching of Jesus. They say their work is a mission serving the society but not on the same level of understanding as Jesus taught. Jesus during His public life was always avoiding popularity whenever people wanted to make him their king, Jesus walked away. Jesus didn't go after popularity but tried to do the will, not of His own, but of the Father. 

Jesus didn't live for Himself but for others and was ransomed to save us. Unconditional love and for the better glory of God is the model of leadership that Jesus calls us to be. This loving and serving model of leadership manifests through a family where parents love their children without counting the cost. Parents don't aim to be popular or self indulgent but aim to serve the family with unconditional love and true sacrifice. This gift of unconditional love is entrusted to us all. As a follower of Christ our lives must based on this teaching. Our thoughts and actions should reflect the loving and caring model Jesus has shown during his public life on earth.

We need to be aware of leaders and world celebrities whose thoughts and ways of life do not promote peace and justice for all. Instead of making life easier they burden us with the call to consumerism and unhealthy life style that hinders the teaching of Jesus that is love God and love our neighbour. Christians should avoid that kind of behaviour and stay focused to promote the Christian family values and the faith that Jesus taught.