In the first reading today, we hear of the sign of Jonah. He went around Nineveh for 40 days warning them to repent and they did. In the Gospel today, the Jews were asking for a sign but Jesus did not give the sign because he knew that their hearts were hardened. In the first reading, we hear of humility and repentance. In the Gospel, we hear of the hardness of heart and pride.
In our everyday lives, this is one of the battles going on inside our hearts: to be humble or to be proud. Three reflections about this:
- St. Augustine: It was pride that changed the angels to devils and it was humility that makes man as angels. Lucifer and his cohorts wanted to be “like God” and were thrown out of heaven. On the other hand, when a person is humble, he/she has the mother of all virtues. Hence, he becomes angel-like.
- Ephesians: Humility is about God’s glory and Pride is about one’s own glory. That is why when Christ was always praised, he would say that “it is not my will but the Father’s will.”
- Anonymous: Pride always ends with a fall while humility brings honor. Hence, Jesus said that “Whoever exalts oneself and whoever humbles oneself will be exalted.”
That is why in this Mass we continue to contemplate on our actions and decisions every day – pride or humility? Let me leave you with a quotation from C.S. Lewis:
For pride is spiritual cancer: it eats up the very possibility of love, or contentment, or even common sense. For our body to be eaten by cancer is difficult. But for our soul to be eaten up by pride is tragic. Even God will not send signs to the proud.