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March 14, 2017

Lenten reflection, day 14

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, the archbishop of Manila, tells a story about titles. The cardinal was invited to an international conference as a presenter, and before his talk he was introduced to the assembly by one of the priests who was helping host the conference.

At the beginning of his talk, Cardinal Tagle thanked the priest by name, and he was surprised when, an hour later, after the talk, the priest seemed upset. The cardinal asked whether something was wrong, and the priest said, “Your Eminence, you referred to me as Father, but I am a monsignor!” 

For an hour the priest had stewed over an incorrect title and a perceived slight to his honor. You have to wonder whether he got anything out of the presentation once his sense of dignity had been wounded. 

How prickly we can be about our sense of human respect, and yet how simple Christ has called us to be as brothers and sisters to one another and servants to all. May we ask God today for the gift of simplicity—and may we come to share more fully in the Spirit of the God who humbled himself to share our humanity.

Father Matthew Allman, C.Ss.R.
Philadelphia

Scripture readings for today: Isaiah 1:10, 16-20; Psalm 50; Matthew 23:1-12



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