April 2, 2011 by bobet888
CONQUER OUR PRIDE
Fr. Brian Steele, MGL
Pride is a killer, do you agree? It is pride that caused Satan and his angels to fall from the heights of heaven and it is pride that we are called to conquer in this Lenten season. Pride is all about selfishness, making the self number one. Both readings in today’s liturgy speak about pride. The Israelites in the first reading were patting their back and congratulating themselves on the recent victories they had won in war. The Pharisee is boasting to God of all the wonderful things he has done.
Jesus, the great storyteller, illustrates for us the effects of pride. Pride raises its ugly head in all kinds of circumstances. The two men He mentions are faithful Jews in their own ways but there are striking differences.
Firstly, the Pharisee takes his position, stands up front and prays to himself. The tax collector stands at a distance, not even raising his eyes, and prays to God.
Secondly, the Pharisee reminds God of the things he has done. The tax collector simply tells God what he has not done.
Thirdly, the Pharisee makes a judgment of the rest of humanity. The tax collector asks God for mercy and pardon.
Jesus tells His audience that the tax collector returns to his home more justified because of his humility. God turns His eyes and shuts His ears from the so-called self-righteous. They are always boasting about what they have done. Moreover, they make you feel you are the worst person on the face of the earth because of their mighty deeds.
In the Lenten prefaces (Lent III), the priest prays that we would master our sinfulness and conquer our pride. This is challenging and hard work indeed. Everyone wants to be seen as Mr./Ms. Right. Everyone wants to be in the top position. What a difference the life of Jesus teaches us: He who came not counting His equality with God but emptying Himself. This is the kenosis (selfemptying) of God through the death of His Son. Through this self-emptying of Jesus, God was able to exalt Him and give Him a name above all other names.
source: The Kerygma Family”