When we are more blessed
HINTS AND TRACES - Fr. Roy Cimagala (The Freeman) - December 11, 2019 - 12:00am

“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Mt 23,12) Aside from the obvious literal meaning of these words of Christ, we can also draw from these words the conclusion that whenever we receive more blessings, more privileges and endowments from God, the more humble we should be.

There is no other way. If we are not humble and instead spoil ourselves with those blessings and privileges, God himself will humble us in ways we would not expect. We can even get so blinded that we can feel glorified in what objectively should be our shame.

We have to be constantly reminded of this truth since it is very easy for us to become vain and proud, self-centered and arrogant when we notice we appear to be more blessed than others.

What should ideally happen is that the more blessed, privileged, and endowed we are, the more conscious we ought to be to thank and glorify God and to be more of service to the others, going all to the way to bearing more and more the burdens of the others.

This kind of humility will prevent us from falling into the ever-present danger of self-righteousness, when we find it difficult to understand others who are very different from us. On the contrary, as St. Paul said, we should regard the others as better than us even if we know we are more blessed in some respects than they are. (cfr. Phil 2,3)

That’s how humility is supposed to grow and mature. The humility of this sort will make us feel the urge to love God and others more by serving them the way Jesus served his Father and all of us. It is a humility that goes all the way to loving the cross, to offering our life for the others, much like what Christ did for all of us.

Sad to say, what St. Paul said of the people of his time can still be said of many people today. “Many live as enemies of the cross of Christ,” he said. “Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame.” (Phil 3,18-19)

When we realize that we are more blessed and privileged than others in terms of intelligence, social and economic status, physical health and looks, and other talents and gifts, when we notice that we are better off than others in certain respects, we should feel the urge to thank God and make ourselves more of a servant to the others.

In fact, as one saint would put it, we should be like a rug so that the others can step on and walk more smoothly toward their goal. We should never feel superior to the others. In fact, we should feel like their slaves —slaves out of love.

We can say that each one of us has his peculiar God-given gifts. We may not be as good as the others in some respects, but for sure we can be better than the others in at least one or two aspects in our life. These blessings should make us serve others rather than lording it over them.

The proper attitude to have may be described in these words of St. Peter in his first letter: “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is among you, watching over them not out of compulsion, but because it is God’s will; not out of greed, but out of eagerness; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.” (5,2-3)

We should always remember that whatever good we have comes from God and are meant not only for our own good but also and mainly for the good of the others. The more blessings we have, the more responsibility we ought to feel toward God and others.

roycimagala@gmail.com

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