Pride and humility are contrasted in today’s gospel parable of the Publican and the Pharisee. Pride is a defect of character few of us find easy to admit about ourselves; it is more easily perceived in somebody else. What can we do to offset such an affliction? A look at the life of Christ Himself will help. Recall His humility all through His life from the circumstances of His very birth right through His agony in the Garden of Gethsemane when He prayed, “Father, not my will, but yours be done.”
The lives of Saints, especially the Mother of God, are great examples in humility. Consider as well how passing are the best things in this life: the famous die, the word of praise fades, the greatest accomplishments become pages in a history book. Remember your great dependence on God from whom you came with nothing – and back to whom you must return with nothing.
Realize how God views pride. What do the Scriptures tell us? In the Book of Proverbs, we read, “Pride goes before a fall” (16:18); “From pride, all perdition took its beginning” (Tobias 4:14); St. Luke records our Lord’s words, “Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled” (18:14), and the Apostle Peter, in his first epistle, writes, “God resists the proud”(5:5). To look at this in a positive vein, consider the beauty and attractiveness of humility. The Book of Proverbs teaches, “Where humility is, there also is wisdom” (11:2).
Today’s insightful Gospel story is a valuable instruction in the place of humility and a challenge to us to practice it.
Saturday, February 5 –