As been said by the pastor on today’s evening mass I attended, today’s first reading from 2 Sam 24 talked about David being punished by God. Why did God punish him? Because David commanded his servants to count the people of Israel. Huh? So what’s wrong with that? The Pastor said, “It’s because David’s act shows that he feels like he owned the Israelites, whereas all of the people are belong to God.”
Then the Gospel from Mark 6:1-6 talked about Jesus being dishonored by people in His neighborhood. People start to judge Jesus’s family background. Knowing that Jesus is only a carpenter’s boy, and that Jesus’s relatives are someone they usually interact with, they started to dishonor Him.
When I tried to learn from these two readings, the thing come to my reflection today is about Pride.
Talking about pride reminds me about what kind of person I was. Well, I can’t say that today I am a 100% humble person, but I think I am more humble than I was. I used to judge people around me, feeling better and holier than others. I’d like to give advice, told others their mistakes, and I love talking about other’s flaws. I feel nothing’s wrong with me until I joined a retreat in Tumpang.
During the retreat, we were asked to think about our sins. At that time, I was so proud with myself, told myself that I don’t have “big” sins. However, suddenly a nun got the gift of knowledge, saying that there’s someone who think so high about herself. In fact, this person loves to judge others. Who are you? Are you God, so that you have the right to judge others?
I was shocked. I do felt that the saying was about me. I cried after that, realizing how sinful I am. Which sin is bigger than feeling higher than God? I’d just realized that I’m not supposed to judge others. It’s God’s right to judge, not mine. So after that I started to watch my mind. It didn’t vanished suddenly, but as long as I keep praying and being close to God, I often being reminded whenever that pride comes again.
Here I understand why David’s act is counted as sin. Imagine that your boss trust his house along with his servants for you. Then you feel like all of that is yours. You become the boss in that house. You started to think, “Hey, I want to know how many people I’ve commanded in this house.” So when your boss knew that thought, wouldn’t he be pissed off? Maybe he’ll come to you and say, “What do you care about my servants? They’re not yours, they’re mine!”
And so do Jesus’s neighborhood. The moment they know that Jesus is their neighbor, that Jesus was an ordinary citizen as they were, they started to humiliate Him. This dishonor actually led to great consequences: they lost faith. Yes, they can’t have faith in Jesus. Trust your life at a carpenter’s boy? Oh no..it’s so ridiculous. So Jesus didn’t do much miracles there. Yet the people also couldn’t see Jesus’s miraculous work. Their pride have blinded them, taking away their faith..just because they feel better, smarter, and greater than a carpenter’s boy.
It’s human nature to have pride in us. However, that pride shouldn’t allow us to humiliate others, even more..to dishonor God. We should realize that we are God’s creation. Therefore we have no right to proclaim ourselves greater than God.
Maybe you’ll say, “I’ve never dishonor God. I’ve never proclaimed myself greater than God.” Yes, maybe you’ve never said that. But think about this. Have you ever blame God for your suffering? Have you ever questioned why things happened to you? Have you ever thought that things could be better in your way, instead of God’s way? Have you commanded God to grant your wishes and be angry to Him when you didn’t get what you want? Aren’t these things show that you think you are better than God in handling your life?
Think more about your relation to others. Have you ever feel better than anyone? Have you ever think that someone’s sin is too much, that you are holier than others? Have you ever humiliate others just because you are in a higher position or because you are smarter than them?
Don’t you remember that Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethern, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:40)
Well, today God remind me again about this topic: pride. I also think that this message especially given to the youth. As today the church celebrate St. John Bosco who dedicated his life especially for the youth, I think this youth are prone of pride matters. Young people think that they’re smarter than kids and also the elders. They may think that they know more information, that they are more capable doing things that kids and elders can’t do. So beware, young people (as I am also one of these youth 😁). Keep yourself close to god through prayer and sacraments. May God help us to be humble and honor Him along our lives. God bless you!