“The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” // Matthew 23:12
Ten minutes before Mass, I knelt on the right of the center aisle eight pews from the sanctuary. My attempts at praying and placing intentions were pierced by the sound of mumbling and plastic bags rustling against a thick coat. Dragging thuds of too-heavy boots carried the mumbles and rustles closer and closer. At their pause, I glanced up to see a man looking at the empty space next to me.
I asked the Lord for mercy as I tried to summon a convincing smile, moved over, and gestured for him to come and share the pew. Finding the space adequate, he bowed low to the tabernacle and started to move in. Canes, bags, and his oversized coat fit nicely and momentarily seemed to drown out the polyphonic music. A man in the next pew turned to give warm smile amid the commotion.
I asked the Lord for mercy. Change my heart, O Lord. May my eyes, heart, and hands be Yours. May I know and understand that the lowly, poor, marginalized are especially beloved. Help me to see him as a brother in Christ and help him to know You love him.
The Holy Spirit answered in a hurry. Joy. Compassion. Humility before the truth that my new pew-partner had a particular claim to the Lord’s Heart.
In the Gospel today, the Lord is as direct and simple as we could possibly ask. He is giving a mandate or warning to discriminate and to be intolerant. He has no tolerance for doing and saying things for appearance . . . He wants our hearts. The Lord warned against the Scribes and Pharisees because they loved accolades and titles, but they were not genuine.
May the Holy Spirit teach, purify, transform us evermore into citizens of the Kingdom where we call God “Father,” and may we allow Him to mold hearts in the way of humility and littleness so that the Trinity may dwell and reign in us forever.He wants our hearts. // Sister Maria Kim Bui Click To Tweet