Today’s Gospel: Luke 9:46-50 – Memorial of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus
Isn’t it interesting that the apostle John doesn’t directly respond to Jesus’ lesson, but rather changes the topic? He redirects by leveling, pointing out someone whom he thinks is the bigger problem.
Leveling is an action whereby a person tries to bring another individual down to where they themselves stand; it is a manipulation to control a situation, and often a projection of oneself. It has been part of our human behavior since Adam. It is the sin of pride, twisted.
Never mind that John and his band of brothers were elbowing one another back attempting to establish “I’m better than you.” I can almost hear Jesus sigh with exasperation with them as He draws a child into His arms, and gently attempts to teach the apostles with a simple example of humility.
And the guys are either clueless, or in denial of the truth — a tactic known as responsibility-avoidance.
I wonder how many times I’ve been as reluctant to the gentle teachings of Jesus. Maybe even arguing with Him, like the belligerent child I can be, that so-and-so did ‘even badder’! Just look what SHE did (don’t look at me!). Sometimes it can take a while for me to see the truth of my behaviors, especially when someone else points them out.
Have you been guilty of a sin of pride so you don’t look bad? Do you need to forgive another of the same shortcoming?
Forgive me Lord for my unwillingness to see my own mistakes, particularly when I try to manipulate a situation and level another so I don’t look as foolish. Let your Holy Spirit guide me and show where I have faltered.
Copyright 2018 Margaret Rose Realy, Obl. OSB
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