There is a funny story of two swans and a frog. The swans could fly but the frog couldn’t. The frog was intelligent but full of PRIDE. The frog wanted to travel to a far off place so came up with the excellent idea with his swan friends “I will grip a stick with my mouth and you grip the two ends of the stick with your beaks as you fly…and we will travel”.
They began the journey. While they were passing over a farm, a farmer looked up in amazement and shouted I wonder whose brilliant idea is this. The frog opened it mouth and said “My idea” and thud fell the frog to its death for opening its mouth!!
The great Philosopher Socrates had a strange way of selecting his disciples. He would take the pond and make him look into the water. “What do you see?” he would ask. If they said they saw their reflection in the water he would reject them. “I am ready to accept all those who tell me they see the fish swimming around. But those who see only their own image mirrored in the water are in love with their ego, I have no use for them…”
Those who exalt themselves will be humbled. Doesn’t this sound us a ring. There are probably people around us whom we have seen boasting and boasting about themselves and suddenly having a downfall. While there are others who are so humble that we see them gradually come up in life. The Lord Jesus says exactly that, “Those who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted”
The Titanic ship cost 4.6 million pounds, measured 882 feet in length and weighed 45,328 tons. When it was all set to sail, someone asked the captain if the ship was sinkable, the designer of the ship said “even God cannot sink this ship”
But on April 15 1912, this colossal ship met with tragedy. It took 2 hours 40 minutes for the ship to sink claiming 1,523 lives. Last message sent from Titanic crew was “We are sinking fast. Passengers being put into boats.” How ironically the last song was :“Nearer my God to thee”
Nearer, my God, to Thee, Nearer to Thee! (By Sarah Adams in 1841)
Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down,
Darkness be over me, my rest a stone.
Yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God to Thee.
There let the way appear, steps unto heav’n;
All that Thou sendest me, in mercy given;
Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee.
Then, with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise,
Out of my stony griefs Bethel I’ll raise;
So by my woes to be nearer, my God, to Thee.
Or, if on joyful wing cleaving the sky,
Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upward I’ll fly,
Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee.
There in my Father’s home, safe and at rest,
There in my Savior’s love, perfectly blest;
Age after age to be, nearer my God to Thee.
God revealed to us that human pride will have a downfall. God revealed to the world that he is more powerful. God revealed to the world that all that knowledge and intelligence we have comes from him and we need to acknowledge the greatness of God first.
Today’s gospel invites us to humble ourselves. To acknowledge the greatness of God and to confess our frailties before Him.
There is POSITIVE PRIDE and NEGATIVE PRIDE. Positive pride acknowledges God, acknowledges people around. Negative pride negates God, negates people around.