Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent
(Click here for readings)
Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying, “…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.”
The greatest must be a servant. My heart loves this but my brain rebels. This is so unfair! What’s wrong with being treated well, especially after having worked so hard to get to the top? Why can’t we boast of our victories? Why can’t science take top prize and claim itself Master of Modernity?
What victory??? Not too long ago I read that the richest eighty-five people in the world own more wealth than the bottom half of the entire global population (this translates to 85 > 3,000,000,000).
I don’t see much cause for celebration. What have the few done with their wonderful inventions and wealth? That is a legitimate question.
No one should claim to be the greatest. No one. No one should even dare boast for being elected President or Pope. There is much cause for responsibility, not celebration. And the Lord sternly warned and reminded his men (as well as the crowd) that where much is given, even more is expected. (cf. Lk 12:48)
Do not be called Rabbi or Master or Father. On various occasions, Jesus warned his disciples to be careful of letting titles or power get to their heads. Who is the greatest? A child (cf. Mt 18:3). Who is the greatest? The last (cf. Mt 20:16). Who is the greatest? The least (cf. Mt 23:11). Who is the greatest? The one who serves the most (cf. Mt 20:26).
Somehow the virtue of humility got lost in the rush to modernity. It needs to be found. As technology becomes more invasive and weapons become more powerful, humility – not intelligence – must take center stage.
Our hearts may understand this, but our brains keep repelling it. This is why we do Lent. We need to change the way we look at ourselves, our world, and the way we think.
Everybody needs to take seriously their Lent, including the wealthiest in the world. (0)
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