As I read the gospel for today, I started making comparisons between the apostles arguing about first place and the sibling rivalry among our six children. As one might imagine, there were times when one or another felt disfavored. The older ones felt that we unfairly granted privileges to the younger ones at earlier ages. One thought the consequences for their misbehavior were more severe than for a sibling. Another received a present that someone else wanted, etc. Like the apostles, our children argued about who was Mom’s favorite and who was Dad’s favorite. Sometimes, I would question if we did something to promote the rivalry, but seeing a similar rivalry among the apostles is a pretty good indication that it must be part of being human. The insecurities of our imperfect humanity easily lead us to either self-deprecation or over-compensation with self-importance
The pride addressed in the readings is a false pride more appropriately described as arrogance or self-importance. It is not the kind of pride that represents a love of self as a creature of God. True pride means an honest and grateful acceptance of one’s strengths as gifts from God to be used for His honor and glory. The humility addressed in the readings is not a false humility that is self-deprecating. A true humility implies an acknowledgement of one’s dependence on God for all that one has and does, an acceptance that I am nothing without Him.
True pride and humility are beautifully described in the words of St Ignatius’ Suspice:
Take, O Lord, and receive my entire liberty,
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