First Reading: Is 35:1-10; Psalm: 85 R. v. Is 35:4f; Gospel: Lk 5:17-26
THE CROWD MENTALITY
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
One common feature of a crowd watching or listening to something fascinating is unguided selfishness. Everyone wants to see or pay close attention to whatever convened a large number of people to a particular scene. Hardly would those in the front row pave way for those behind to overtake them. There will be jostling and craning just to catch a glimpse of what is happening. In moments like this, even pain or injury inflicted on anyone is left for the victim to handle. This is typical of a crowd; selfishness.
Jesus was obviously a celebrity; and a good one at that. His good works spoke for him. The gospel of today narrated that as he was teaching, a great crowd gathered about him. A crowd so great to fill up the house where he taught from, up to the surroundings of the building. But the surprising thing about this crowd was that they listened to the gospel but showed no sympathy or love. The crowd was more concerned about themselves than the good of a sick man. They couldn’t even give way for the men carrying a paralytic to have access to Jesus. These men had to find their way to Jesus through the roof of the building. What a shame.
Unfortunately, we have a lot of Christians with this crowd mentality. Those who hear the gospel, preach the gospel, but do not live the gospel. Those who compete, dominate and always want to be at the forefront in everything because they feel they can do it better than anyone. Those who feel that the only way to success and fulfilment is competition without help and support. In life, when we block the way for people to succeed, we may end up giving them the ingenuity to explore several other options to reach their goal. And the interesting thing is that they may end up reaching that point we are hoping to reach but cannot because selfishness has blinded us. So when we stand on the way of people, we should never think we have defeated them. We may be motivating them to success while we remain stagnant in our selfish positions.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, we pray for the grace always to think of the good of others in all that we do. Amen.