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When we are more blessed

December 11, 2019 - Wednesday 4:12 AM by Fr. Roy Cimagala

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            “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who
humbles himself will be exalted.” (Mt 23,12) Aside from the obvious
literal meaning of these words of Christ, we can also draw from these
words the conclusion that whenever we receive more blessings, more
privileges and endowments from God, the more humble we should be.
            There is no other way. If we are not humble and instead
spoil ourselves with those blessings and privileges, God himself will
humble us in ways we would not expect. We can even get so blinded that
we can feel glorified in what objectively should be our shame.
            We have to be constantly reminded of this truth since it
is very easy for us to become vain and proud, self-centered and
arrogant when we notice we appear to be more blessed than others.
            What should ideally happen is that the more blessed,
privileged and endowed we are, the more conscious we ought to be to
thank and glorify God and to be of service to others, going
all the way to bearing more and more burdens of the others.
            This kind of humility will prevent us from falling into
the ever-present danger of self-righteousness, when we find it
difficult to understand others who are very different from us. On the
contrary, as St. Paul said, we should regard the others as better than
us even if we know we are more blessed in some respects than they are.
(cfr. Phil 2,3)
            That’s how humility is supposed to grow and mature. The
humility of this sort will make us feel the urge to love God and
others more by serving them the way God served his Father and all of
us. It is a humility that goes all the way to loving the cross, to
offering our lives for others, much like what Christ did for all of
us.
            Sad to say, what St. Paul said of the people of his time
can still be said of many people today. “Many live as enemies of the
cross of Christ,” he said. “Their destiny is destruction, their god is
their stomach, and their glory is in their shame.” (Phil 3,18-19)
            When we realize that we are more blessed and privileged
than others in terms of intelligence, social and economic status,
physical health and looks, and other talents and gifts, when we notice
that we are better off than others in certain respects, we should feel
the urge to thank God and make ourselves more of a servant to the
others.
            In fact, as one saint would put it, we should be like a
rug so that the others can step on and walk more smoothly toward their
goal. We should never feel superior to the others. In fact, we should
feel like their slaves—slaves out of love.
            We can say that each one of us has his peculiar God-given
gifts. We may not be as good as the others in some respects, but for
sure we can be better than the others in at least one or two aspects
in our life. These blessings should make us serve others rather than
lording it over them.
            The proper attitude to have may be described in these
words of St. Peter in his first letter: “Be shepherds of God’s flock
that is among you, watching over them not out of compulsion, but
because it is God’s will; not out of greed, but out of eagerness; not
lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the
flock.” (5,2-3)
            We should always remember that whatever good we have comes
from God and are meant not only for our own good but also and mainly
for the good of the others. The more blessings we have, the more
responsibility we ought to feel toward God and others.
 

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