21ST SUNDAY REFLECTION
HUMBLE AUTHORITY VS PROUD SERVANT
The Lord through the prophet Hosea rejected the priests and leaders of the time on the ground of ignorance of His word and the law. " Because you have rejected knowledge, I have rejected you from being my priest, .... My people perish for lack of knowledge .." Hosea 4:6 . Proverbs tells us that the fear of The Lord is the beginning of knowledge. (1:7) George Bernard Shaw says: " Beware of false knowledge . It is more dangerous than ignorance" William Shakespeare opines that "ignorance is the curse of God, knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven" Peter had the knowledge of things of God and spoke out each time there is need for such faith confession. Thus, he was given the key to unlock the riches of heaven. In the key are the access , code, password, security numbers, PIN numbers etc to heavenly graces as witnessed in Sacramental celebrations. Peter was very sincere and humble and he was elevated. A mere and poor fisherman, became the head and leader of the Church. The first reading presents the proud and wicked Shebna who was elevated to the rank of the treasurer in the royal court. He became proud, arrogant, malicious, mischievous and treacherous, then The Lord decided to demote him and make him a public ridicule . "It was pride that changed angels into devils; it was humility that makes men as angels" St. Augustine. The Psalmist says that "in his riches, man lacks wisdom" (49)Those who lack knowledge of God, those who lack faith can never faithful serve God. Eliakim, was a servant of The Lord, faithful and trustworthy. He rose from lower to higher officer in the court. The Lord made Shebna to be sent to a foreign land, and to die alone and be forgotten. God help us to be knowledge, wise, loyal, faithful and humble like Peter and Eliakim and shun the pride and disdain of Shebna. " Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real" Thomas Merton.
BY REV. FR. STEVE OSCAR OKEKE