HOMILY FOR MONDAY OF THE 5TH WEEK OF EASTER
THEME: SERVING IN HUMILITY.
BY: Fr. Karabari Paul
HOMILY FOR MONDAY MAY 16 2022
‘Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory’ (Psalm 115:1).
When we pray for God’s blessings and gifts, we should equally pray for the grace to use them well in accordance with His purpose. Why? Because one truth we may not be ready to accept is that God’s blessings and gifts can cause our destruction. For some of us that lack the grace of humility, God’s blessings may make us feel we are better than others. This feeling of elevation is the snare of the devil.
In the First Reading (Acts 14:5-18), the Lycaonian crowds who had witnessed the healing of the man who had been a cripple from birth saw Paul and Barnabas as, “The gods (who) have come down in the likeness of men. Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, because he was the chief speaker, they called Hermes”. They even brought oxen and garlands to sacrifice but when Paul and Barnabas heard of it tore their garments, crying, “We also are men, of like nature with you”.
Unlike Paul and Barnabas, some of us priests and men of God have refused to accept we are of like nature with others; we are human beings. We have taken the position of Zeus or Hermes among the people. We impose consultation fees before we could be seen. We would readily accept the sacrifice of the Lycaonian crowds.
Christlike humility is necessary in the exercise of gift. ‘Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ’ (Philippians 2:5). When John the Baptist said about Jesus, ‘He must increase, but I must decrease’ (John 3:30), he demonstrated the kind of surrender that can be difficult if we are an achiever. We have the ability and the ambition to accomplish great things and improve other people’s lives, but we can also become preoccupied with ourselves. We think about our own image and our own success. We can become proud of our achievements and enjoy the admiration of others when we succeed. And if we are not careful we force ourselves into gods.
Sometimes we can turn what looks like serving God into serving ourselves. For many of us ‘the sin that so easily trips us up’ (Hebrews 12:1) is pride. And when we don’t get the human recognition that we feel we deserve, we become resentful. We shouldn’t be trying to achieve for recognition, or even to earn God’s approval. We already have it. God’s kingdom isn’t about who the best is, or who has done the most – it is about our hearts and our love for God and others. Paul says: ‘Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves…look not only to your own interests, but…the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ (Philippians 2:3-5). When you feel pride creeping into your life because of your achievements remember that God’s blessings can cause your destruction. GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE. May God heal Our world, bless and protect us all through Christ Our Lord Amen. Please, stay safe. Good morning!
Fr. Karabari Paul