GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY – 14TH MARCH 2017
GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY (based on Catholic Liturgical Readings)
DATE: 14TH MARCH 2017
TUESDAY OF THE SECOND WEEK OF LENT
FIRST READING: Isaiah 1:10, 16-20
PSALM: Psalm 50:8-9, 16-17, 21, 23
GOSPEL: Matthew 23:1-12
THEME: LESS OF ME…MORE OF YOU
Many of us have been brought up in an educational system where the first are awarded prizes and the last are repeated. The good thing about that system is that it encourages one to climb higher and achieve great things. In the process, however, the system inculcates in a person the desire to look out for a prize in every activity of life, and when the prize is not forthcoming one easily gets frustrated and seek for it through weird means. Additionally, such a system conditions the mind to detest taking the least position in anything and sometimes makes one to, inadvertently, look down upon those who are low on the ladder that we are climbing.
In search of appreciation, the religious leaders at the time of Jesus usurped all kinds of titles and projected themselves unto a pedestal, high enough to make themselves visible. Their whole demeanour and outward appearance was one of a billboard. Every action of theirs was for public viewing. They were unable to practice what they preached and yet they fiercely sought for honour among their contemporaries. In the process, the virtue of humility was thrown out of the window. Jesus, observed this and said to his disciples, “He who is greatest among you shall be your servant; whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Matt. 23:11-12).
The quest to be treated as a ‘big man or woman’ in society can be so enslaving that some easily get offended when seats of honour are not offered them at a programme or they are not publicly acknowledged at a function. Within the socio-economic sphere, we have people who are accustomed to doors being opened for them and their bags being carried around. They virtually live their lives on the shoulders of others and have no idea of how it feels to walk barefoot. They may be advocates of justice at their workplaces and in society and yet right in their homes, they look at their drivers and house-helps through the prism of segregation and treat them as second class or third class citizens.
It is incredible to see men and women of God today in a rat race, in pursuit of titles to affix to their names. Maybe, it is a search for the prize that our educational system taught us to look out for when a ‘good’ work has been done; and woe betides you if you call them by name without their titles. These psychological crutches may appear helpful for a while but in the end they leave us empty and forlorn.
In Christ, a humble person thinks less of him/herself and more of Christ and others. Humility does not take away one’s importance; rather it takes away the veil that clouds one’s importance. It does not make you less honourable but twice honourable. The truth is that if you fail to humble yourself, sooner or later you would stumble and what a mighty fall it would be.
Let us make it our project to give up pride during this season of Lent and grow in humility. May the cry of our heart be, ‘Less of me…and more of you Lord”. Greatness in humility is the bedrock of greatness in life.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I am yours. May the self-centered and selfish part of me decrease as you increase in me daily. Amen.
Andrews Obeng, svd
DIVINE WORD MISSIONARIES
BIBLICAL PASTORAL MINISTRY
“May the darkness of sin and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the Word and the Spirit of grace. And may the heart of Jesus live in the hearts of all people” (St. Arnold Janssen).