2nd Tuesday of Lent

Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.  Maatthew 23:12

We’ve heard this quote from Matthew’s Gospel hundreds of times.  The question is, “do we believe it?”  Everyone likes to be appreciated.  Everyone likes to be praised.  We all enjoy having the place of honor.  It’s who we are.  But the key is that when the appreciation, the praise, or the seat of honor are given to us by others, it’s not so bad.  It’s when we hold ourselves up as something special that we’re headed down a slippery slope.

This is an issue that I personally struggle with.  As member of the clergy, I get to do things that “lesser mortals” don’t.  I sit next to Father on the altar at mass.  I get to wear fancy vestment.  I get to share my pearls of wisdom when I preach.It’s not too hard to get caught up in that stuff.  But the fact is that I”m just one more servant of God.  I’ve been called to a particular position in the Church, but it’s a position of service.  If I’m singled out  by my vocation, it’s because I’m ordained to serve.

In fact, we’re all called to serve.  Whether we’re parents, or grandparents, or conversely, children and grandchildren, we have certain areas of service that we’re supposed to do.  If we do those things humbly and without complaining, then we’re serving God and our fellow human beings.

Remember in the Gospel for Ash Wednesday Jesus told us to wash our face and comb our hair and not let the world know that we’re fasting.  We fulfill our true calling in life when we serve without calling attention to ourselves.

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