There is a sin that all of us who are not saints battle. It is the sin of pride. It causes division within ourselves and in our relationships with other people. We see the devastating impacts of pride in our families, friendships, relationships with co-workers, strangers, and in the inner-workings of the Church.
Pride is the original sin through which we desire to be God, to always be right, and to have power. No joy can come from pride, but we continue on this path in vain. It is only through an emptying out of ourselves that we are able to grow in humility and abandon pride through the grace God gives to us. It is when we forget ourselves that we are filled up and our relationships become what God means for them to be and we are infused with joy.
Love is not competitive. It does not seek power or to rule others. Instead love shows us how to turn towards others without concern for our own desires. In giving completely of ourselves we receive back infinitely more than we could have expected.
Christ shows us this lesson at the Last Supper when he washes His disciples feet. Christ the King of the Universe stoops to wash the feet of men who will, in a few short hours, flee from Him, except for St. John.
After He has washed their feet, He says:
“You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do. Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him.
If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it. I am not speaking of all of you. I know those whom I have chosen. But so that the scripture might be fulfilled, ‘The one who ate my food has raised his heel against me.’ From now on I am telling you before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe that I AM. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me (John 13:13-20).”
Our Lord shows all of us what love and service look like in action. It is to leave behind desires for power, prestige, and control. It is to relinquish our grip on the petty things we hold onto so tightly. He invites us to a new way of growing in communion with others: the way of love and humility.
Read the rest over at Catholic Exchange.