Day 14: Humility Over Power and Reputation

BY JUSTIN WHITE | March 15, 2022
Today’s Readings

If you want a model of holy frustration…look no further than Jesus in today’s Gospel.

I don’t blame Him. If we turn our eyes and ears to Matthew Chapter 22 we see Jesus answering many questions from both the Sadducees and the Pharisees who had “plans to trap him in his words.”

Jesus sounds fed up with the trickery from the leaders not because of any ego or pride, but because He knows that the focus should be on the liberation of the people not the solidification of power and reputation.  

Power and reputation can be dangerous realities if not tempered with humility.

Humility Over Power and Reputation

What if the Sadducees and Pharisees conspired to work with Jesus and not against him? What if they had allowed themselves to understand that Jesus was speaking on behalf of the same people that they vowed to teach, protect, and care for?

We’ve seen in our own times people advocating for themselves and others—only to have their lived experience questioned. “Come on Justin, do you really believe Black Lives Matter is helping?!” “Don’t talk to me about white privilege Justin, everyone struggles!” “Toxic masculinity…so I’m not supposed to be a male now?!” These are all recent questions that I’ve fielded and I felt trapped in my words.  

We lose so much when we deny the reality of another person’s lived experience because it challenges ours.

“Then what should we do Justin, what’s your answer?”

Jesus offers an answer—humility. Through humility we can fully listen, through humility we can experience a deeper conversion towards the Kingdom of God.

During this Lent, how can humility enter your life and create a new heart and a new spirit?

7 replies
  1. Karen Moscato
    Karen Moscato says:

    Such a powerful reflection especially in looking at our political discourse from elected officials today. What if officials truly listened instead of protecting power?
    What if we the American people were the example for the elected officials? What a difference this would make and hasten the kingdom Jesus spoke of so often. Thank you for this lesson and practice this Lent.

  2. sonja
    sonja says:

    Humility for me in New Zealand, is not being too proud to pick apples for minimum wage. Who is picking apples – retired people who have the ethic to serve their country in a time of need, single mothers who need extra cash, nurses and social workers who are against the vaccine mandate and have lost their jobs. At a time when our country is desperate for nurses and social workers, the government has made the situation even more dire for health services and education by mandating vaccines. Export dollars are more important to those in power, even though exporters don’t pay taxes and all the profit goes offshore and doesn’t benefit NZ.

  3. Dorothy Turnbloom
    Dorothy Turnbloom says:

    I appreciate the image of active listening. Humility. I picture has one ski in cross country skiing. the other ski is compassion. when you fall over you get up balance yourself squarely over those skis and start again. Thank you Justin.

  4. Raymond A Jobin
    Raymond A Jobin says:

    Today’s reflection helps me to place my frustrations in a different context I had not thought about before, and gives me guidance in sorting through so many of today’s troubles.

  5. Dr Eileen Quinn Knight
    Dr Eileen Quinn Knight says:

    The humility of our Pope is inspirational to me. He consistently and constantly thinks of the good of others. He wants all of us to live on the path to the kingdom of God with the desire to increase and multiply the goodness of God by our example to one another! The people who understand his desire for us have the goodness of God in our mind and hearts. Compassion is a wonderful gift to share with others and to live it ourselves. With God at the core of our lives we reach out so much more graciously and thoughtfully to all we meet. May our Holy Father the Pope help us to continually listen to all that God gives us today and for eternity.

  6. Dr.Cajetan Coelho
    Dr.Cajetan Coelho says:

    The focus should be on the liberation of the people not the solidification of power and reputation – Well said Justin.


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