Saturday, 3rd week of Lent, Year A

Let us come humble ourselves before God!

Readings: 1st: Hos 6:1-6; Ps: 51; Gos: Lk 18:9-14

This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working with the Spiritan International Group of Puerto Rico &  Dominican Republic. He is the Administrator of Parroquia La Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Chancellor of the Diocesis of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. For more details and comments contact him on: canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, cancilleriadfh@gmail.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com.

As we gradually come to the end of the third week of Lent, today, we reflect on the importance of humility in our Christian life and journey.

Today, Christ reminds us that judgment belongs to God. He knows all our intentions and actions. So, we must be careful in judging others. This is because, at times, human judgement can be biased. What transpired between the publican and the tax collector is typical of what we see every day in our world.

Self-righteous or over confident people often judge others wrongly because of the weakness of their own mind, and their ignorance of how God operates. Such people see themselves as the role model that others must imitate, or the only holy ones. So, they are quick to condemn others. However, God judges differently.

So, in light of the COVID – 19 Pandemic which has exposed vulnerability of the strong and the weak, the rich and the poor, there are two lessons we must learn from today’s gospel. The first lesson is from this simple warning from Paul: “Let him who thinks he stands take heed, lest he falls” (I Cor10:12). Of course, the proud and arrogant fall easily before they know it.

The second lesson is that, we are all vulnerable to the infection of sin and its consequences. Sin is contagious, and anyone can be infected at any time, through omission or commission. So, no one should think that he has, or knows it all.

We are all vulnerable, and only God can save, and acquit us from this vulnerability. This calls for great humility. So, we must humbly acknowledge our vulnerability and weakness before God, who alone, is the Just Judge.

Finally, Christ who acquitted the humble tax collector says to us today: “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Mat 23:12). He knows us all, will forgive and heal us, if we humble ourselves before him.

Peace be with you all!

Maranatha!

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