Appleton, WI

Homily Connect Feb 21: Pride

I’m Not God! Neither Are You!

Scripture Mark 1:12-15

The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan.

A Tale from our Moslem Brothers and Sisters

The Angelic Council

  • Weeding out candidates for a special award/honor
  • Selected person/Needed approval from the Divine One
  • Divine One approved but said, “Ask her first.”

You have Been Found Worthy

  • Angelic Subcommittee flew to earth and found recipient
  • Stated to her “You have been found worthy.”
  • “We are pleased to give you the gift of healing.”
  • Woman declined the honor
  • Angels offered another gift
  • “We are pleased to give you the gift of conversion of hearts.”
  • Again the woman declined
  • Angels remembered the words “Ask her first.”
  • When asked she said, I want the gift of doing good, but without knowing it.”

Lent-in the Desert with Jesus

  • The sobering stark, desert – It is hot by day-cold by night
  • Too much sand, too may pebbles, too many boulders
  • The presence of wild demons

The Ugliest of Our Demons – PRIDE

  • A camouflage suit we wear to fool people into thinking we know it all
  • A mask we wear to hide-if people really knew me they wouldn’t love me
  • Prevents me from revealing my biggest secrets, extols self-sufficiency

Pride and the Israelites

  • Pride told them they could build a Tower to lasso God into doing things their way
  • There is a right way, a wrong way and “my way.” My way is the best way

God’s Corrective Action – The Tower of Babel

  • People failed to recognize God’s plan in their lives
  • With a broken heart, God needs to start over
  • Then came the Flood
  • Thank you to Noah and his family who survived the Flood
  • They were the foundation of a new people –but still not united with God in charge

Pride and Me

  • I become a helium filled balloon-my ego makes me fly high above those around me

Back to the Desert with Jesus

  • Jesus battles with the pride demon. Satan wants him to take control
  • You are hungry.  Take control. Don’t wait for your Father
  • Having more bread, money, prestige or the idol of your choice works
  • Who needs the Lord God?    I am self-made – self-sufficient
  • Demon tells Jesus “You can be in charge of everything if you acknowledge me as your Lord.  Let me rescue you. You don’t need God your Father!”

Jesus Shows Us the Pride Antidote – Humility

  • Never went it alone without his Father
  • Was not self-inflated – He emptied himself so his Father could fill him
  • Lowered himself so he always looked up to those who were struggling
  • Embraced weakness and vulnerability – God was his strength

Back to the Woman and Her Gift

  • Her humility made her goodness spring up like a fountain within her
  • The Lord worked through her because she got out of his way

Questions for Reflection

  • What impacted you from today’s Readings and/or homily?
  • How difficult is, it to admit that pride might be behind our sinfulness?
  • In what circumstances might you wrestle with pride the most?
  • Who is the most humble person you know? Why?
  • In what circumstances might humility come easy to you?

Live Connected

  • This Lent, make an examination of conscience considering how pride might be at the center of your sinfulness.  Talk to Jesus about it. Pray for the gift of humility.