“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

Yesterday’s gospel reading is taken from Matthew (23:1-12).  Jesus, in Jerusalem, realizing His death is near, ramps up His condemnation of the actions (but not the words) of the scribes and Pharisees.   Being on the Chair of Moses they have divine authority to teach.  But their actions do not live up to their teachings.  Jesus accuses them of laying burdens on others, seeking praise because of their dress, desiring places of honor at banquets and in synagogues, and loving to be called “Rabbi.”  All this being said, Jesus says that all must take the attitude of servant and closes with the words above.  Another paradox that doesn’t necessarily comport with our natural inclinations or our observation.  Regardless, our exemplar must be Christ.  He who performed the most significant act of humility — God becoming one of His creatures — went on to live in humble circumstances even in the eyes of this world: born in a manger, living a hidden life for thirty years, living simply throughout His life, and suffering torture and the ignominy of the cross.  Following His words in this gospel and the life He led, we too must not be prideful, but have the attitude of servant to all.  Then we know that, as with Jesus, the Father will work through our humility to the benefit of others and our ultimate glorification.

 

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