Humility is one of the greatest virtues a Christian can have, and to be humble is one of the calling for us Christians, to accomplish. To be humble people of God, humbling ourselves before one another as brothers and sisters in Christ, and also humbling ourselves before God. In our humility, God will be able to find the true greatness in us, that is our faith, and love for Him. Pride often closes our heart to the Lord, and distance ourselves from Him, and we will be therefore judged unworthy.
It is in humility that we learn to be able to receive the love of God, and to also render forgiveness and justice upon others, since in humility, we realise our own personal weaknesses as human beings, as imperfect creatures that are bound to sin, mistakes, and faults. Therefore, if we humbly place ourselves, and act in humility and love, we will know that we too are just like others around us, who are our brothers and sisters, no matter our rank, our wealth, or our affluence. For everyone is equal in the eyes of the Lord.
If we fully realise the fullness of our weaknesses, our frailty, and our unworthiness before God, we will be able to act more justly on others, and to render loving acts and kindness to everyone, especially those whom we hate, who are less fortunate than us, that through these acts, they too can be transformed, from hatred into love, and from the poverty of the material, into the wealth of the soul. Why is this so? because we understand the nature of our frailty, our disposition towards sin and failures, that we will not easily mete out judgments on others, as we too have the same kind of weakness, and if we judge someone based on their failures, eventually, we ourselves will also be judged.
If we judge someone first, that someone will not look kindly upon us, and even may hate us. In doing so, not only that we have judged someone perhaps unjustly, but also may cause someone to fall into hatred and therefore sin. Instead, if we refrain ourselves from quick judgment and take the time to reflect upon our actions or possible course of actions, we will realise that the only way to end this endless cycle of judgment, hatred, violence, and more judgment is that to break free from it, through acts of love and justice.
Let us also in addition to that, also in humility, bow down before the Lord and wash ourselves away from our sins. Especially, in this season of Lent, which is perfect for this purpose, as we, through fasting, abstinence, and doing penance, can undergo a thorough spiritual cleansing and purification, to rid ourselves of the evils and faults that plagued us, and ensured that we are found worthy in the end, after a long battle with evil and sin, and the darkness and corruption they brought to our hearts, and to our minds. Let us also fill ourselves with love, and through that love, exercise loving acts, that all those whom we work on, will experience the love of the Lord, and therefore will also be called to salvation and purification of their sins through repentance, just as we are. That they all too may live!
Many will use the Gospel passage today as their main weapon to attack our Church mindlessly, as many literally interpret the Scripture so much that they lose the true meaning of the passage, and through their misunderstanding of the Church of God, they instead become the agents of Satan unknowingly in attempting to destroy and damage God’s Holy Church and God’s Holy people.
For indeed Jesus said that we should not call anybody in this world our father, Rabbi or Master, or leader, because indeed, we have only one such figure in all universe, that is God, God the creator, and God who saved us from eternal death, and brought us to eternal life through His Son, Jesus Christ. However, we understand that, as we know, our priests, whom we call Father, are called that because they are our spiritual fathers, just as we have our biological fathers who took care of our needs since our birth. And while biological fathers take care of our needs, our spiritual fathers ensured that we grew ever stronger in our faith and love of God. But most importantly, we call them so, because they are in representation of Christ Himself, in persona Christi, through the authority and power given to them through the Apostles. We call them Father ultimately not because we revere them as much as the Lord, but we revere the Lord through them, whom we call Father.
That is why, our Pope, whom we call Holy Father, while many will aggressively attack such a title, is nothing more than what I have mentioned. He, as the Bishop of Rome, as the leader of all the faithful in Christ, the successor of Blessed St. Peter the Apostle, to whom Christ entrusted His Church and all His ‘sheep’, is even closer in union with Christ, with God who is our Father. When we call the Pope our Holy Father, this is because we revere the Lord, our God, of whom the Pope is the Vicar, the representative in this world.
Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, if anyone would ever ask you the question, why you call your priests and so and so father, now you know how to answer them and enlighten them on the truth. That instead of succumbing to the evil one, we rise and fight against him, in the Name of God the Most High, our Saviour Jesus Christ. May God bless us all, that all of us may grow ever stronger in faith, in hope, and in love. That we can use this Lenten season to the best we can, to purify ourselves from our unworthiness before God, and to make ourselves ever closer to God, and help bring one another together closer to God. Amen.