Pride, A Useless Baggage – By Fr Jerry Orbos SVD

Fr Jerry Orbos SVD – Divine Word Missionaries

MOMENTS, JULY 5 2020, 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Some time ago I texted a joke to a friend, and I must admit that I felt offended when he responded “LOL” which I thought meant “ulol” (fool)! So unappreciative and rude of him, I thought, but in humility, I just dismissed it. And I was glad I did so because I found out later that “LOL” meant “laughing out loud!”

In today’s Gospel (Mt.11: 25-30), Jesus teaches us to be meek and humble so that we will find rest. Imagine if I held on to my hurt because of pride, and kept some resentment in my heart in the “LOL” story above. Humility is the key that will set us free from useless worries, hurts, and imaginings.

These are difficult and trying times which make the so-called wise and learned among us panic, worry, and become burdened. In times of adversity, the proud become distressed and despondent. Those who are humble and childlike simply trust and believe. Like the bamboo, we must learn to bend so that we will not break (“flectas nec frangas”).

One of the most important lessons we should have learned by now in this time of pandemic is humility. Let us humble ourselves to God, to each other, and even to Mother Nature. We are small. We are just passing by. We are not indispensable.

Many arrogant and “difficult” people are, in reality, insecure people who have unresolved childhood issues. Let’s name some of these useless baggage in our journey.

BEGINNINGS. Some people are so attached to their affluent beginnings, or to the schools they attended, or to the degrees attached to their names. On the other hand, there are those who boast of how they overcame poverty, as if telling everyone, “look at me now.” Humility is the key: “Before you were born, I knew you” (Jer. 1:15).

ENTITLEMENT. People who expect special treatment because of wealth, age, functions, or even trials. Humility is the key: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, naked I will go back” (Job 1:21).

AUTHORITY. Subjected to bossy and controlling parents, some people become doubly bossy and controlling when their opportunity for power comes. The key is humility: “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10).

TRUST. There are people who are not able to trust or cooperate with others, and ever suspicious because they were made to feel that they are not trustworthy, and that no one is trustworthy. The key is humility: “I will never forsake you” (Hebrews 13:50).

SELF-WORTH. There are people who wrongly identify themselves with their possessions, achievements, or accolades. The key is humility: “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son” (John 3:16). These unresolved issues burden us all, some in a greater, some in a lesser degree. The key again is the humility to be open and honest to ourselves, and to realize how futile and how burdensome pride is. Remember, Jesus was the most secure person. He needed nothing, and no one except God, to affirm His worth as a person. He did not need to be proud.

If you encounter a proud or a “difficult’’ person, or maybe, if you yourself are one, please understand that behind the mask is a good person who is striving to break free from some difficult or not-so-nice past. A lot of people become tough because they need to be so, in order to survive. They just have to know, or to be told, that life is not a war, and that life is not so much about “look at me,” as “look at what the Lord has done in me!”

A moment with the Lord: Lord, help us to stop carrying useless baggage as I journey through life. Amen.

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