Humility Can be a Source of Strength

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The Feast of St. Mark
1 Peter 5:5b-14
Mark 16:15-20

We can sometimes be so self-righteous! So judgmental! We can get so caught up in our ideologies! Sometimes one could swear we think we know more than God!

Sometimes I act (and feel) as though everyone else is wrong and I am right. Sometimes certain things seem so clear to me it is as though God had given me special insight. And I wonder, “Why are those people so dense? Why don’t they get it?” Sometimes it happens over very small stuff. Often it happens when I know only a portion of the story. It is so easy to jump to conclusions.

Many years ago, when I was an arrogant (and sometimes stupid) pastor, I noticed a woman leaving church early. Deep down that somehow seemed to reflect on my leadership! I made a comment about people leaving early. Several days later, that brave woman confronted me. She told me she had been sick that day and had to leave to see her doctor. She let me know how my words had hurt her. I felt like the idiot I was…

Sure! WE must be sober and vigilant because the devil is prowling like a roaring lion! And Yes! All of us who follow Jesus must suffer a little not because God wants us to suffer, but because we are caught up in the same humanity which Jesus chose to be caught up in. We suffer because of our own mistakes. We suffer because of the mistakes, the decisions, the failings of others. But that is not the end of the story.

If we truly choose to follow Jesus, if we hear Peter’s inspired message today: clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another because God opposes the proud but bestows favor on the humble, then perhaps our vigilance, our steadfast faith, our solidarity with our brothers and sister throughout the world (who) undergo the same sufferings and our deepened awareness that We are not God, may permit Christ Jesus to personally restore, confirm, strengthen and establish Us. Then it might be more possible for it to be said of us: the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.

- Fr. John M. Lee, C.P., Retreat Director, Bishop Molloy Retreat House, Jamaica, NY www.bishopmolloy.org

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