First Reading: Isaiah 1:10, 16-20
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 50
Gospel: Matthew 23:1-12
"The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted." (Matt. 23:11-12)
When Christ came to earth, He preached something so radical to the people, something that even today seems so radical to us. We are told often that we are to embrace the virtue of humility and to humble ourselves before God. We are told to serve, and not be served as Christ did. We are told that the meek shall inherit the earth, that the poor will be rich, and that the lowly will be raised up. All of this teaching seems so strange to us, especially in a culture that tells us that being lowly, poor, or humble is a sign of weakness. How are we to know what to listen to? How are we to persevere against such a demanding and self-centered culture? The only way that we can truly live as we are called to is through Faith.
A great example that we have of someone who truly lived their life out of faith and truly came to live out the virtue of humility was Saint Francis of Assisi. While Saint Francis did not begin his life grounded in the virtue, Saint Francis lived a life of self-centeredness, a life without God. In his youth, Saint Francis lived out a life of partying, wasting time, and of seeking glory for himself. It wasn't until God got a hold of him, that Saint Francis began to live his life for the Lord. Saint Francis is a great example of the exalted being humbled. We all know that since the Lord got a hold of Saint Francis, that he later became one of the great Saint and reformers of the church. Saint Francis lived by the gospel and by complete service and devotion to God. We too would do well to follow his example and leave behind the things of this world and follow God.
Saint Francis, pray for us.
Father above, we thank you for the gift of this day. We thank you and give you praise for all that we are and all that we have. Lord, help give us the strength and courage to follow you no matter what; and to detach ourselves from the things of this world. Lord, help us to leave it all behind and to follow you, for you will always provide for your servants. Lord, we trust in you and in your divine mercy. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.