“Casting away pride and embracing humility and dependence on God!”
(Based on Hos 5:15-6:6 and Lk 18:9-14 – Saturday of the 3rd Week in Lent)
Let’s begin with a simple question today….
Which is the only disease in the world, which can affect everyone else, except the person himself/herself?
Is the answer too hard to guess?
Well… the answer is pretty simple…
Pride is the disease that can affect everyone else, except the person himself/herself!
Pride is the sickness that can cause harm to all others, except the one who possess it!
Pride can be a snare to the other, while one enjoys oneself in the false pleasure it gives!
Pride can be a spirit-dampener for the other, while it is an ego-inflator for oneself!
The Gospel of the Day exhorts a strong message on this deadly vice of Pride.
Chapter 18 of the Gospel of St Luke begins with two parables, that teach on the aspect of Prayer.
The parable of the Widow who was persistent (Lk 18: 1-8)
The parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Lk 18: 9-14)
The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector have interesting comparisons with respect to the various gestures and actions that they take:
Both go up to the Temple area to pray…
The Pharisee took up his position… the tax collector stood off at a distance
The Pharisee spoke the prayer to himself… the tax collector would not even raise his eyes to heaven
The Pharisee spoke of his personal glories…the tax collector acknowledged being a sinner, in need of mercy.
Though the Gospel doesn’t speak of it, it seems that both, the Pharisee and the tax collector had taken a mirror with themselves, when they went to pray….
A mirror… yeah!
But, the strange fact is that, both of them used the mirror in contrasting manners!
The Pharisee used the mirror and saw his many achievements and accomplishments…
… being unlike the rest of the sinful humanity like the greedy, dishonest or adulterous
… fasting twice a week
… pay tithes on his whole income
The tax collector, also used a mirror… but saw in it, his many failures and shortcomings…
… the moments when he had cheated others to have greater financial gains
… the times he had subjected himself to be a traitor by working against his own people
… the need to seek for God’s mercy acknowledging his sinfulness
Prayer is like a mirror…but it depends on one’s attitude and disposition what one sees…
If one is filled with pride and self-conceit, one sees only one’s accomplishments…
… and thus pushes out God and replaces oneself as the source of all good works!
If one is truly humble and modest, one sees one’s weaknesses and limitations…
… and thus acknowledge the dependence on God and on His grace in life!
Prayer could be made into a time of reciting the litany of one’s great achievements…
…or prayer could be made into a moment of seeking God’s mercy and compassion.
Prayer could be made into an occasion to boast of oneself and put down others…
… or prayer could be made into a moment to see the glittering light of God guiding us.
What is our attitude and disposition?
Am I afflicted with the sickness of pride which makes me to flaunt only myself at the expense of the other?
Am I distressed with the disease of arrogance which makes me to see myself as the greatest person in the world, casting aside all people and even God?
There is something of “this” Pharisee, perhaps, in all of us which needs to be shun…
There is something of “this” tax collector, which needs to be cultivated…
The need to cast away pride and the need to embrace humility and dependence on God!
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
THE LANGUAGE OF FAITH
We do not believe in formulae, but in those realities they express, which faith allows us to touch.
The believer’s act [of faith] does not terminate in the propositions, but in the realities [which they express].
All the same, we do approach these realities with the help of formulations of the faith which permit us to express the faith and to hand it on…
… to celebrate it in community
… to assimilate and live on it more and more.
The Church, “the pillar and bulwark of the truth”, faithfully guards “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints”.
She guards the memory of Christ’s words; it is she who from generation to generation hands on the apostles’ confession of faith.
As a mother who teaches her children to speak and so to understand and communicate, the Church our Mother teaches us the language of faith…
… in order to introduce us to the understanding and the life of faith. (CCC # 170-171)