Reflection from Fr. Juan Osorno
The Sin of Pride
(Sermon by St. John Vianney)
“I give you thanks, O God, that I am not like the rest of men.” (Luke 18:11).
As the Pharisee, we too can be filled with pride, and begin to think that we are better than others. This terrible sin invades the heart, may oppress us and overshadow the light and the dignity we possess as sons and daughters of God. Pride is the origin of all addictions, and causes all evil that happens and will happen until the end of time. Some show their pride because they believe to have a lot of talents, others because of their possessions, position, influence, power, recognition, and others. What is worse is that they feel very proud about it. Instead, we should be terrified and tremble before God’s judgement. Beloved, for one act of pride that lasts just a moment, we bring to our lives an unending suffering, sadness, anguish, rejection, anxiety, and pain; not only to us but also to the people we love. The more the sin of pride dominates a person, the more righteous the person feels, the proud believes to do and say everything perfect and without fault. In contrast, we can take a look at Jesus and everything he did to expiate the sin of pride: He was born to a humble family, and at the end of his life he emptied himself completely to the point of death, and death on the Cross. Jesus taught his Disciples. When they were questioning who was the greatest among them, he took a jar of water and a towel and washed their feet. He wanted to make it very clear that whoever wanted to be first, must serve the others. Pride blocks the action of God’s grace, in contrast, humility brings about grace, blessings, love, and virtues. Beloved, how can we know if we are acting with pride? Very simple, the feeling of our hearts will unmask the truth. When we feel that we are better than others, when we think that we have the right to judge, when instead of acting in thanksgiving we began to act with entitlement … we must know that we are acting with pride when we reject God’s commandments making excuses and arguments like if we know better than anyone. Lord, help us to overcome the sin of pride with your grace and your love, teach us with your Spirit how to live in humility.