Little Whispers, Maja Pangilinan

Less Is More

First Reading
Hosea 6:1-6
“Come, let us return to the LORD,
it is he who has rent, but he will heal us;
he has struck us, but he will bind our wounds.
He will revive us after two days;
on the third day he will raise us up,
to live in his presence.
Let us know, let us strive to know the LORD;
as certain as the dawn is his coming,
and his judgment shines forth like the light of day!
He will come to us like the rain,
like spring rain that waters the earth.”

What can I do with you, Ephraim?
What can I do with you, Judah?
Your piety is like a morning cloud,
like the dew that early passes away.
For this reason I smote them through the prophets,
I slew them by the words of my mouth;
For it is love that I desire, not sacrifice,
and knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 51:3-4, 18-19, 20-21AB
R.    (see Hosea 6:6)  It is mercy I desire, and not sacrifice.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R.    It is mercy I desire, and not sacrifice.
For you are not pleased with sacrifices;
should I offer a burnt offering, you would not accept it.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
R.    It is mercy I desire, and not sacrifice.
Be bountiful, O LORD, to Zion in your kindness
by rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem;
Then shall you be pleased with due sacrifices,
burnt offerings and holocausts.
R.    It is mercy I desire, and not sacrifice.

Gospel
Luke 18:9-14
Jesus addressed this parable
to those who were convinced of their own righteousness
and despised everyone else.
“Two people went up to the temple area to pray;
one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.
The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself,
‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity —
greedy, dishonest, adulterous — or even like this tax collector.
I fast twice a week,
and I pay tithes on my whole income.’
But the tax collector stood off at a distance
and would not even raise his eyes to heaven
but beat his breast and prayed,
‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’
I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former;
for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled,
and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”


photo-1519223400710-6da9e1b777ea

“For everyone who raises himself up will be humbled, but anyone who humbles
himself will be raised up.” (Luke 18:14)

REFLECTION
Have you tried answering Instagram templates where you have to choose between this or that, or choose amongst several items, in what looks like a BINGO card, which ones have you eaten or have you done? 

What do these templates have in common? They’re all about you, and that’s not necessarily wrong, it’s entertaining actually.

In today’s gospel we are reminded to reflect on what it means to be humble. Is it when we downplay our achievements? Is it when we don’t talk about who we are and let others talk about us, while we stay quiet, silently proud of ourselves? Is it when we deny others’ praises to avoid being described as arrogant? Maybe these are correct, but let me invite you to take our idea of being humble a step further. Being humble is not so much just thinking less of yourself, but more thinking of yourself less. When we think of ourselves less, we give ourselves the chance to think of others more. And that is when we are truly being humble. And Jesus who “humbled himself to the point of death” (Ph 2:8) is the best example of this. He thought of himself less, and thought of YOU instead, when He died on that cross for YOU.

Most of you who are reading this might probably be in the comforts of your home. During this pandemic, I invite you to think of yourself less, and think of others more. Think about the frontliners, those who do not have homes to stay in, those who do not have a source of income or food to eat, those who are away from their families in this challenging time, those who are suffering from the virus, and pray for them. Think of ways on how to help others (and I don’t mean we should go out) in your own little way, may it be in what you post on your social media, how you spend your free time with the people you’re with, what you do that other people see, feel and hear. It’s when we think of ourselves less, that we get to think of others more and allow Jesus to shine His glory and mercy through us, for everyone to see.

Prayer
Dear Jesus, I ask for the grace of humility. I ask that You remind me of how it is to be a person for others, just like how You were for me. Send me Your most Holy Spirit so that I may be inspired to think less of myself, more of others, more of You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Author
wc-maja

Click on the bubble to find out more about Maja!

Photo by: Le Buzz (@le_buzz at unsplash.com)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s