31st Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A - 5/11/2017 - Gospel:
Incoherence happens when a group of people or an individual says something and does something else. It is not considered as human ignorance or an ordinary mistake but they are intended errors with specific a purpose in mind. In today's gospel reading Jesus revealed the specific purpose of the Scribes and the Pharisees when they demanded others to strictly observe what they preached but they themselves were freed from what they preached. Jesus recognized the authority and the knowledge of the Scribes and the Pharisees but He also criticized their improper behaviour. The Scribes knew the Laws well and taught others what people should observe but they themselves did not observe the Laws. They knew the ways how to legally remove heavy burdens for themselves but not for the people. Instead of removing the heavy burden for the people the Scribes intended to place even more burden upon the people, not to improve the relationship to God, but to achieve the Scribes' own ambition. Jesus criticized them, not because of their preaching about the Laws but because their ambition was aimed to receive the public's rating and popularity.  They acted in order to earn praise and Jesus condemned their insincerity in their relationships with God and with neighbours. They used the people for their own benefit. They wore special clothes for prayers and took the first place in public places and preferred to be recognized in public squares. They wanted to be seen and praised. The clothing and public recognition made themselves feel that they belonged to an upper class who deserved to be served and respected by others. They had legitimized and nourished and set apart the special social class for their own. They argued well and have made people believe that they were right with God. A party argued better at a debate with more logic and reasoning would win the case. Human knowledge has no other option rather than to accept the best solution and the best solution may not always morally right and in accord with Christ's teaching.

Public recognition comes naturally from providing humble service is nice and noble and it is worthwhile. That is what Jesus proposed for those who truly follow him. By providing humble service and serving others they made God's love known and real. Through acts of charity they become greatest in the hearts of whom they serve. "The greatest among you must be your servant!" Mat 23,11
No one is free from making mistakes but mistakes cause by ignorance and limitations are genuine mistakes and in that sense they help us to learn more about our own ability and learn to grow in maturity. It is not our attitudes to make mistakes but purely human errors.

Advising the public 'do what they tell you and listen to what they say' Mt 23,3 Jesus made a distinction that a person and the errors that person made are different. It is very often we show less respect for a person and we identify that person with the mistakes they have made and used them as an excuse for not cooperating to what that person says. The truth is that everyone has some positive qualities God has given to us and we need to see the goodness of a person, the positive qualities that person has contributed to our community or society.