"Whoever humbles himself shall be exalted." —Matthew 23:12
The religious leaders at the time of Jesus' public ministry were blind fools and hypocrites. They were oppressive to the people in that they bound up "heavy loads, hard to carry, to lay on other men's shoulders" (Mt 23:4). The cause of this blind, foolish, oppressive hypocrisy was pride. This pride manifested itself by the type and manner of works these leaders performed (Mt 23:5), by their seating arrangements at banquets and in synagogues (Mt 23:6), by their clothes (Mt 23:5), and by their titles (Mt 23:7-10).
Do you show signs of pride by the way you talk, work, dress, buy, think, or even pray? Have you avoided signs of pride but deep down you know that you are proud of not looking proud or even of appearing humble? Pride is so deceitful and self-deceptive.
Humble yourself now by repenting, forgiving, and confessing your sins. Humble yourself by apologizing, simplifying, fasting, serving, and suffering. Humble yourself by taking up your daily crosses (see Phil 2:8). Otherwise, you will lose your spiritual sight and be a fool and a phony, who will crush the spirits of others, break their hearts, and dash their hopes. Pride is a brutal killer of innocent people. Look what the pride of a few religious leaders did to Jesus. They tortured, crucified, and murdered God. Repent of pride and humble yourself.
Prayer: Father, by Your grace I decide to humble myself before I hurt more innocent victims.
Promise: "Though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow; though they be crimson red, they may become white as wool." —Is 1:18
Praise: Josh, a Bible student, studied Greek to learn the New Testament better. He was shocked to learn that the Greek text of John 6 supported the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. He repented of unbelief, joined the Catholic Church, and received the Bread of Life.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 26, 1997
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 1997