Wednesday 16 January 2019

Saturday of the 3rd Week of Lent

Some of us claim that we have not committed any serious or even mortal sins, but when we claim as such, are we claiming so with pride? It is easy to make such claims, and yet fall into sin by feeling proud about it, or putting others down or looking down on others, thinking that they are not on par with us. When we are like this, we have a problem of spiritual pride. We begin to think that we are ok and everyone else is hopeless or condemned.

In today's Gospel, the Pharisee was proud that he did not commit any grave sin; and he claims to have done credible deeds, but he was not at rights with God. Why so? His problem was spiritual pride: he called another person a sinner without acknowledging or admitting to be one himself. He propped himself up, at the expense of another person. He considered himself virtuous, and in doing so began to become more and more self-righteous. But what the Pharisee failed to realise and understand is that what God wants is not sacrifice, but love for Him and for others.

What about us? Are we like the Pharisee, full of pride and ego, thinking that we are on the right track or supposingly in God's good books? Or have we learnt to humble ourselves and say: God, be merciful to me, a sinner? Let us not be blinded by pride, even to the point of losing our awareness of sins we may have committed, no matter how small such sins may be. Instead, let us walk humbly in God's ways, and let Him be our help and guide.

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