Sunday, November 5, 2017

“Do you think the devil is impressed by anyone's Bible knowledge or degree-certificates? Not at all. Satan fears only holy, humble men and women who know God."

You must ask God to give you power to fight against the sin of pride which is your greatest enemy – the root of all that is evil, and the failure of all that is good. For God resists the proud. - St. Vincent de Paul: (1581 – 1660: was a French Roman Catholic priest who dedicated himself to serving the poor.)

Gospel Text: (MT 23:1-12)
Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,
"The scribes and the Pharisees
have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
but do not follow their example.
For they preach but they do not practice.
They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry
and lay them on people's shoulders,
but they will not lift a finger to move them.
All their works are performed to be seen.
They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation 'Rabbi.'
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 Christ.
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted."

Our Gospel reading today exhorts us to be humble, "Let the greatest among you be the servant of all. For whoever makes himself great shall be humbled, and whoever humbles himself shall be made great."

In this age of “selfies” and “me-time”,  it seems unreasonable to be humble.
However, conversion and change happen only when we learn to humble ourselves and admit the truth about our own lives and condition, no matter how ugly and painful these may be. Only then will we recognize and admit our pretenses, which in turn will enable us to move forward.

We can pray for the grace to be humble and the grace to see ourselves as we truly are. We can reflect further on how our Lord Jesus, our Creator and Savior, knows, loves and takes care of us as we are, with all our weaknesses and difficulties, sufferings and pains.

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