A Samaritan Village Refuses to Receive Jesus
Reflection on the Gospel of the Tuesday
Yesterday we spoke about being like children, flawed yet sincere. Today we are introduced to another trait, but a dangerous one, self-righteousness. It is a failing that probably all of us have experienced, which at its roots has fear, guilt and pride. And when we put value to appearances (pride) and not our relationship with Jesus, we roll on into the mire of failure and deceit, followed by fear and guilt, finally pride asserts itself again, and we come out self righteous. All these action will alienate us from God, unless we self-access, reject falsehood and embrace and hold on to the truth. This is where humility is awfully helpful.
Jeff Cavin in teaching on the Beatitudes (The Great Adventure – Gospel of Matthew), shares how one day he was sharing the Gospel with inmates of a prison. He was in a room with the wall to his back, and hard seasoned convicts between him and the door. One of the convicts proceeded to draw his attention to this fact, and asked his whether he was scared. His response is what we need to reflect on. Jeff replied that he was not, because he was already ‘Dead in Christ!‘
Unless a seed of grain falls into the ground, it does not give birth to something new and wonderful. Likewise unless we die to ourselves, divest ourselves of everything, we will wallow in our pride, blind to the truth, and be just like our oppressors and those we seek to reach out to. In such a situation, it is the blind leading the blind. We need to take a step back, pause, read the Gospels, understand the Good News as a whole unit (Read the Sermon on the Mount), and then see what is it that means to be like Jesus (Christ-like-ian).
What Jesus is inviting us to do, when we seek to follow Him, is re-learn, re-educate ourselves by being in a relationship with Him/His Father/His Spirit. Make this relationship the beginning and end of everything that comes in our life, and be transformed by Jesus’ truth, which can then spread to all parts of our life. This then becomes an action based proclamation of our confidence in Jesus, and the paths He is leading us to. We then can say that we are Christians – humble and meek, not because Jesus tells us to do so, but because it leads us to the truth of Jesus, it helps us see that the opposite way is a circle of deceit and falsehood. And that we need to start the process of change with ourselves, even if it means that we need to crucify our selves, i.e. our old selves. Eventually you will discover what you have crucified is pride and self-righteousness.