Pretentious

August 26, 2017
Saturday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time
The Gospel Today
Matthew 23:1-12

Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,
“The scribes and the Pharisees
have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
but do not follow their example.
For they preach but they do not practice.
They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry
and lay them on people’s shoulders,
but they will not lift a finger to move them.
All their works are performed to be seen.
They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’
As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’
You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
Call no one on earth your father;
you have but one Father in heaven.
Do not be called ‘Master’;
you have but one master, the Christ.
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

Reflection (Sem. Glicerio T. Tano)

After a year in the formation in the seminary, I am still struggling with myself to conform myself to the demands of formation in the seminary. In the Gospel, Jesus said that the Pharisees do not practice what they are preaching. This reminds me of myself as a seminarian who did not practice fully the rules in the formation.

I am newly invested brother, and a week prior our vesting of sotane, I was very emotional reflecting on myself if I am worthy to be vested that white vestment that symbolizes purity. I know in myself that I am still unworthy to face God because I am still have this feeling of guilt while thinking of my sins. Like the Pharisee in the Gospel, I do not practice fully the demands as a seminarian. I really pretend that I am a good guy, a holy one, and have the other characteristics of a seminarian. But deep inside, I have this attitude that is not good being a religious person.

One concrete example of these attitudes that I have is having a passive aggressive personality. For me, this is not a good practice being a servant of God. Whenever my anger is triggered by somebody, I always have to keep silent and tolerate it. But if it will be triggered again by the same person, I recall unconsciously our last encounter, and my anger will be stronger this second time. Sometimes, I cannot control my anger and it will result to trouble. I know this is very bad attitude for a future priest that is why I am helping myself now to be docile, to discover, and to learn how to manage well this issue to respond better to the other person. Now, I can see myself being one of the Pharisees, pretending to be good outside but the truth is I am still very far to be a disciple of Christ. I know that I am a pretentious seminarian, but I am still searching for God in my heart.

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