|Though He was God, He did not regard|
equality with God something to be grasped.
But He humbled Himself taking the form
of a slave. (Philippians 2:6)
In today’s Gospel, Jesus is teaching His disciples that He is going to suffer. This proclamation of Our Lord about His suffering was the second He made to them about His coming passion.
You may recall in last week’s Gospel that Jesus asked his disciples "Who do people say that I am?" Peter was the only disciple to get the answer right. He said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Then Jesus tells Peter in essence, “Yes, you got it right.”
Yet, Peter did not understand. He was thinking like man, not like God. In fact, Our Lord was so distressed by Peter’s refusal to recognize the truth of His coming passion that He replied by saying, “Get you behind me satan!”
In today’s Gospel, the disciples again do not understand. But we get some insight into why. They were too filled with pride. They could not see the bigger picture because they were too filled with their own self-ambition. They argued among themselves about who was greater.
That story gives us a lesson on the importance of humility. If we truly want a relationship with God then we must strive to humble ourselves before the Lord.
Pride is the root of all evil. Pride was the cause of the fall of mankind from God’s grace. The devil told Eve that she could become like god if she ate of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil. And she took the bait -- that is the fruit -- which has led the whole of humanity to turn their backs on God ever since.
Pride is the temptation to make ourselves god. Instead of allowing God to lead our lives, we decide for ourselves what is best. Like the apostles in today's Gospel, under the influence of pride, we compare ourselves with others. We want to be the greatest.
|The hour had come for Him to leave the world.|
He got up and began to wash his disciples' feet.
In fact, as a priest, I have noticed in my recent discussions that there is a sort of edginess in the hearts of many about the times we live in today. People can literally “feel” that the troubles of our world are piling up and that these troubles will inevitably soon reach a breaking point.
Today there is unease among Catholics about the direction our Church is heading because pride is working hard to influence our faithful away from the teachings of Christ. My brothers and sisters, we are living in critical times both in our Church and in our world.
The most important thing is to humble ourselves before God! As a country, we need to get on our knees and beg God for forgiveness. Receive God’s mercy!
Pope Francis has called for a year of mercy that begins Dec. 8. This proclamation is no accident, because in these critical times in which we live, only God’s mercy can save us.
|Baptism of Jesus: John said, "I am not worthy to untie his sandal." (John 1:27)|
In fact, just as the disciples did not understand Our Lord’s prediction of His passion -- that in order for Him to be raised up again He must first suffer -- many in our Church today do not understand that our Church too must first undergo its passion to be raised up in glory with Our Lord on the last day.
Seek humility. Come to God. Admit your faults. Realize that God is all good and we are nothing without Him!
For the world and its pride will be broken, and our Church and its faithful will be purified so that it can be found without spot, stain, or wrinkle as it enters into the fullness of its glory in the kingdom of God. Blessed are those who humble themselves before the Lord so that they can be part of this eternal kingdom that is soon to come!
|Apostles John and Peter recover their humility -- rush to the tomb of|
Jesus Christ, who has been reported alive.