Deacon Stu Dobson’s Reflection – 2-4-22
Friday of the 4th week or Ordinary time, yr 2, February 4, 2022
Sir 47:2-11; Ps 18:31, 47, 50, 51; Mk 6:14-29
Pride. We open our mouths and speak something really stupid in a moment of pride. It is no wonder Jesus speaks of the sinful nature of pride later on in the Gospel of Mark. King Herod, so full of pride in front of his guests, gets stuck fulfilling a promise he quickly regrets. “Give me John the Baptist’s head on a platter,” says his daughter when he proudly proclaims to her he will grant her anything. So he does not look foolish in front of his guests, Herod has to do what she asks. Even though he regrets doing it.
King David also shows some pride, but in a different way. He gives praise to God for all the good things God has provided him. We know King David was not always good, but God forgives him and David praises God for all the accomplishments David had that God made possible. A different kind of pride, but pride none the less.
I also have a friend who went through some tough physical issues lately. One day, he came out of therapy and said, “Look what I have accomplished!”, and then immediately felt remorse. Yes, he worked hard to get better, but he denied the presence of God in his recovery. He lamented and said, “God forgive me, I know you are what made me whole, and not anything I may have done.” While not entirely true, he did work hard, he forgot to give God the due credit for his recovery.
As we approach the coming season of Lent, let us look deep in our hearts about our own prideful thoughts. Are we full of pride? And if so, what kind of pride? Are we proud of the things we do that may or may not give glory to God? Do we get stuck saying stupid things that we instantly regret? And then have to follow through on lest we lose face? Or, are we smiling on the inside with a humble heart thanking God for all the good things He has given us? In either case, we should not be making promises that boast of our pride or make us do things that take us away from God. Being proud of what we have done is a good thing, especially if we are humble and give thanks to God for all He has done for us.