Readings for Wednesday January 19, 2011
First Reading: Hebrews 7:1-3, 15-17
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 110
Gospel: Mark 3:1-6
Jesus entered the synagogue. There was a man there who had a withered hand. They watched Jesus closely to see if he would cure him on the sabbath so that they might accuse him. He said to the man with the withered hand, “Come up here before us.” Then he said to the Pharisees, “Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” But they remained silent. Looking around at them with anger and grieved at their hardness of heart, Jesus said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel with the Herodians against him to put him to death. (Mk 3:1-6)
Isn't it just amazing what pride can do? Pride can lead us into being so wrapped up in only ourselves that we are blinded by anything that is good. Take today's gospel for example; the pharisees and scribes stood around and watched Jesus closely. Why? To see a miracle happen? To witness a great act of compassion and mercy? No, they watched so that they could satisfy their pride, so that they could have something to hold against Him. They were so self centered that they couldn't see anything else.
Pride can lead us also to be blinded to God's love and mercy. It is something that prevents us from being the men and women that we were truly created to be. Giving in to our pride may make us feel good for a moment, but those moments quickly pass and we never experience that true joy and peace that can only come with love and humility. You see, love and humility are the antidotes to pride. When we are struggling with pride in our lives, that is when we should pray for an increase in the virtues of love and humility. These virtues are the way of God, the ways that will open our eyes and soften our hearts. To see a great example of someone who so perfectly displayed the virtues of love and humility, let us look to Mary, our Blessed Mother. Her earthly life was grounded in these two virtues, and no one on earth more perfectly displayed them more than her. Let us pray that we too can embody these great virtues as she did, and that Mary will lead us closer to her Son, who is love.
Mother Mary, pray for us!
Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.