“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
Jesus, in the Gospel today, gave us a warning against entitlement. The attitude that the Pharisees showed differs from the examples He is showing His disciples. The Pharisees love places of honor, seats of honor, greetings, and the calling of ‘Rabbi.’ These things are the feeling of being entitled to modern times.
Archbishop Socrates Villegas, the Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan, during the ‘Kapatiran’, a gathering of theology students of different seminaries in the Philippines, gave the seminarians a warning about the temptation of entitlement. He said that “If you have nothing and your dream someday is that you will receive everything, that is bad character.” Sometimes, the temptation is because I am now a seminarian, I am now entitled to the seat beside the priest, to be called ‘Father’, to serve whenever I want to, I can do whatever I want in the Parish even without the delegation of the Parish Priest. These are some temptations that might lead to being entitled to because of the task that was given to us.
The challenge and the invitation now are to ask ourselves, what is my motivation in doing things, or in serving? To draw attention to ourselves? If this is our motivation as a seminarian or as a servant in the Parish, then we are not following what Jesus is teaching us. We must be comfortable working in shadows. Even if no one notices the things that we are doing, if it is for the greater glory of God, then we must be used to it. For we must remember, we are not serving the Lord for ourselves, we are serving the people and give glory to God, who is the source of all these gifts.
By: Renz Marion C. Cunanan
Matthew 23: 1 – 12
Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,
“The scribes and the Pharisees
have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
but do not follow their example.
For they preach but they do not practice.
They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry
and lay them on people’s shoulders,
but they will not lift a finger to move them.
All their works are performed to be seen.
They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’
As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’
You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
Call no one on earth your father;
you have but one Father in heaven.
Do not be called ‘Master’;
you have but one master, the Christ.
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”