Pride and presumption are insidious sins. They make any kind of grace impossible, for they even deny that grace is needed or wanted. If we have no need of a Savior, then no relationship with God is even possible. And not having a relationship with God is something we call “hell.” So the disciple doesn’t get to harbor pride and doesn’t get to presume that God will take care of her or him. Instead the disciple must be very mindful of God, and must constantly nurture the relationship in such a way that they are caught up in the very life of God.
In our first reading, the Hebrew exiles in Babylon realized how far they were from this kind of relationship, and with the prophet Baruch, they pray a prayer of repentance. Too bad the people of Chorazin and Bethsaida, in our Gospel reading, didn’t do the same. They needed to. They were totally unmindful of God, and they refused to repent. Which is inconceivable given the mighty deeds Jesus had been doing among them. Jesus calls them to task on it. We don’t know if that had an effect on them. But we can be like that too. Sometimes we are so presumptuous of God’s mercy and favor that we refuse to repent of the things that separate us from Him. We need to be open to change.
The disciple is called to humbly place himself or herself in God’s mercy, acknowledging dependence on a Savior who has loved us into existence and sustains those who follow him. The disciple shuns pride and presumption, and humbly prays with the Psalmist, “For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.”