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Whoever Exalts Himself Will Be Humbled

Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time


Matthew 23:1-12 New American Bible

Matthew 23:1-12 Bible Gateway New International Version


“The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”


Jesus says in the gospel today that whoever exalts himself will be humbled; and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. A new boy named James enrolls in your class at school. He exalts himself and brags about what a good runner he is. He stands in front of your class and says, “I can outrun any of you.”

A race is set up for recess time. Everyone in your class lines up in a straight line. Susie, from another class says:  “The first person to reach the fence wins. On your mark, get set. Go.” James runs as fast as he can. However, you beat him by two yards. Susie declares you the winner.

James says, “I didn’t have my running shoes on.” He goes off by himself and is angry because he did not win. He never brags again to this class because he has been humbled by his actions and the actions of others.

Tom had a wife and twelve children when he was killed in a car wreck. His family had no money to bury him. A man down the street gave Tom’s wife a check for $5,000, so that she could bury her husband. He did not leave his name and address. He just gave her a check and disappeared. He did not brag about what a generous man he was. When this rich man gets to heaven, God will exalt him. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

Think about your actions today. You want God to exalt you when you get to heaven. You want to be humble and not brag about how great you are. Ask God to help you keep humble at heart and close to his path so that you will have a higher place with him in heaven.

Say the “Our Father.” Ask God to give you humility so that you may be first with him in heaven.


“Our Father, who art in Heaven,

Hallowed be Thy name.

Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done,

On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day, our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

As we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.


Copyright © 2002, 2004 Joan Y. Edwards. All rights reserved.