Friday, September 10, 2010

Presumption and Humility


Running the Race!!!

Readings for Friday, September 10:
1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-27
Psalm 84:3-6, 12
Luke 6:39-42

“I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.”

These words of St. Paul are for us today a call to keep away from the sin of presumption. Presumption is, of course, when we elevate ourselves and forget the fact that we too have flaws that need to be worked on. St. Paul knew all too well the temptation to presume on his own salvation. After all, he was chosen separately from the other Apostles, given a unique mission, and had endured countless sufferings for the sake of the Gospel. If any disciple had a ‘right’ to salvation, it would seem, he’d be the guy because of the zeal he had and the number of converts he won over for the faith. And yet he knew that even the greatest of disciples could fall flat on their face, so he strove to run the race well.

Just like St. Paul, many of us can have this temptation to be complacent and presume that we’re in a good place spiritually. For those who have been going to daily Mass for years, who are active in all sorts of ministries and charitable works, it is easy for us to fall into the trap of trying to pull the splinters out of the eyes of others without first checking ourselves. So what is the best way to counter this temptation? Humility. To recognize that even though we may do great works and are very pious and holy, that we ultimately do not deserve the salvation – it is a blessed gift from the Lord. Today, as we go through the day, spend a moment in meditation on this great gift which is held out to us, and surely we shall again be renewed to continue to run the race fervently and not aimlessly.