March 16, 2020 – 3rd Week of Lent

“Being willing to overcome our arrogant and pride behaviour and humbling ourselves before the Magnanimous Power of the Lord!”

(Based on 2 Kings 5:1-15 and Lk 4:24-30)

An incident is told of a popular boxer who was infamous for bragging about himself.

Once, before the take-off on an airline flight, the stewardess reminded the boxer to fasten his seatbelt.

“Superman don’t need no seatbelt,” he told her with pride.

The stewardess was unwilling to compromise…

So she retorted, “Superman don’t need no airplane, either.”

The man was discomfited in his pride.

In shame, he fastened his seatbelt without saying an extra word.

Pride can block a person from being open to the views, trends and wavelengths of other people and situations.

This is much more true, when it comes to spiritual matters

A proud mind…
… rejects the plans and workings of God in one’s life…

And makes one to say, “I can manage my life by myself!”

A haughty spirit…
… opposes any movements  that causes one to get out of one’s comfort zones…

And makes one to say, “I know what’s best for me! None need to teach me!”

An arrogant heart…
… rejects any good inspirations or constructive feedbacks…

And makes one to say, “I don’t need anyone’s advices. Only I can advise myself!”

The Gospel of the Day presents the rejection of Jesus, in the Synagogue at Nazareth, by the people, who displayed a proud mentality, a haughty spirit and an arrogant heart.

Jesus, is in His hometown.

He entered the synagogue and began to teach.

Though initially, there was a wave of excitement…
… the words of Jesus caused a major setback to the people.

This caused the people to reject Jesus…
… they even try to kill Him ( Lk 4: 29-30)       

St Luke uses a very strong word to describe the feelings of the people…
“When the people in the synagogue heard, they were all FILLED WITH FURY”

Or another translation… “… they were all FILLED WITH WRATH”

When one’s pride is hurt…
…. One tends to become angry and hurt

When one is made to get out of one’s comfort zones…
… one tends to become restless and agitated.

This is what happened to the people in the Synagogue.

Their pride was hurt..
… because Jesus spoke to them on the need to be humble, and accept the “all-embracing” love of the Lord!

They were made to get out of the comfortable zones…
… because Jesus spoke to them on the need to change their closed ways of thought-pattern, and to accept the “all-merciful” invitation to the Kingdom of God!

This “instigation” can happen in our life too…

When we are challenged to move out of our “traditional” style of thinking…
….and accept instead, the merciful and compassionate ways of God

When we are forced to change our crippling attitudes of rejecting people on the basis of caste, creed, colour, language etc…
… and accept instead, the “all-welcoming” style of the Kingdom of God

Human tendency it is, to sometimes “get used to” comfortable situations…
… even if they are fruitless or unproductive and useless

Human tendency it is, to sometimes “remain fixated” in crippling mentalities…
…even if they cause harm to the other and are no longer effective.

In the 2nd Book of the Kings, Naaman had to overcome his “fixated mentality” and listen to the Word of the Lord that came through Prophet Elisha (2 Kings 5:1-15)

He would understand the importance of humbling himself before the Power of the Lord and experience the Lord’s Healing!

The Lord today, invites and challenges us in our proud mentality, a haughty spirit and an arrogant heart.

This is the constant invitation by Jesus:
“Learn from Me.. for I am gentle and humble in heart”

Let us learn from the Gentle and Humble ways of the Lord, and become persons, who are open to the workings of the Holy Spirit.

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections!”

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