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PrIde and SIn

September 26, Monday of the 26th Week in Ordinary Time
Daily Readings: Jb 1: 6-22/ Ps 17: 1bcd. 2-3. 6-7/ Lk 9: 46-50

While in the world, some suffer from ‘eye problem’, many more suffer from ‘I-problem.’ This ‘I-problem’ or egoistic life leads to pride and sin. The words ‘pride’ and ‘sin’ have got ‘I’ in their middle. A person who has got one’s ego (the ‘I’) as his/her centre, one becomes a person of pride and it leads one to commit sin. An egoistic person tries to prove that s/he is better than everybody else. That is what the disciples tried to do. We don’t know on what basis each of the disciples claimed their superiority over others. May be John and James must have felt superior because of their blood relationship with Jesus. Peter would have felt great about his confession that Jesus was the Messiah. Matthew would have mentioned that his writing ability placed him above everybody else. Judas must have said that his keen sense of managing money made him superior to others.

Not only the disciples, but also all of us have got the inclination to present ourselves as better than others – in some respect or the other. Sometimes our efforts may look to be silly. Two fellows were arguing that their forefathers were very powerful. One said, “It was my grandfather who dug the Suez Canal all by himself.” The other responded, “That is nothing. My great grandfather was much more powerful. He even killed a sea. Now that sea is known as the Dead Sea.” Trying to prove ourselves by affirming our egoistic pride is doing a lot of disservice to our own lives – we become restless, lose sleep, consider others as our enemies, and relationship gets affected.

The second part of the gospel instructs us that ego is so subtle and cunning that it can raise its ugly head even in the name of spirituality. John’s words “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us” seem to show that he was interested in the welfare of Jesus. But the truth is that John was more worried about himself than Jesus. He was trying to have monopoly over Jesus that only those with Jesus can use his name to perform miracles. Jesus’ rebuke of him shows that he was not happy with such monopoly. Quite often on the basis of our spiritual practices and religious affiliations, we condemn others and indirectly feel superior over others. Sometimes, we hear people saying, “I am more spiritual than others.” It is a self-contradictory statement since pride and spirituality cannot go together at all.

 

Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.

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