”You must always humble yourself lovingly before God and before men, because God speaks only to those who are truly humble and enriches them with His gifts.” - St. Padre Pio
The distorted and illusive modern-day culture seems to be overwhelmingly imposing and coercing to the extent that it has not only eroded our rich moral and religious values but also has instilled in our society questionable behavior and character, that are inimical to our faith and our existence.
The impact has led to the assimilation of family, marital, social and religious cultures. Our identity, sense of purpose, dignity as a people and the need for God have been thrown away. Yet, man is still not satisfied and happy. It is all because we are not HUMBLE enough before God and before our fellow human being. Therefore, there is the need for us to go back and pick the very virtues and values that made our ancestors great and strong.
That is why Ben Sirach (the wise Jew-Teacher of morals) in our first reading reminded the Jews, who found themselves in foreign land (175 BC) and had allowed themselves to be corrupted by the pagans living in the cities, to dignify their religious and moral principles. He taught them how faithful Jews should live good life, what moral and spiritual choices they should make, and what behavior was expected of them as religious people. He insisted that the just God had no favorites. He hears and grants the prayers of the humble, orphans, the weak and the oppressed.
Beloved in Christ, as Christians we are inspired to live our lives according to the dictates of our vocation, to pay attention to our spiritual and religious life, to approach prayer and deal with our fellow human beings with the utmost humility they deserve. Humility is actually a state of being that exposes our attitude and approach towards things in life. As a Christian, let humility do the talking. Remember, ”the prayer of the lowly, pierces the clouds to reach the unseen throne of God.” Sirach 35:21
So the Apostle Paul, in the second reading, profoundly acknowledges the immense role God played in his ministry. He said, ”The Lord stood by me and gave me strength... To Him be glory forever and ever.” (2 Tim 4:17-18) This was humility exemplified and epitomized. How many people would say this? The usual language is ”I made it!”
Unfortunately, we live in a world where achievements and accomplishments are attributed to oneself without acknowledging the role of the grace of God. We rather seek praise and recognition for ourselves. But as Christians it is an obligation to see the hand of God and the grace of God operating in everything we accomplish or achieve and acknowledge that. Your humility will open more doors for you! The saints made it because they were humble.
As usual Jesus Christ, in the gospel reading, speaks against the spirit of pride. Due to pride and self-indulgence we sometimes think that we are independent of God. Because of this some individuals degrade others with insensitive comments, words, language, etc.
My dear family of God, Jesus admonishes us to imitate the humble publican (tax collector). Repentance of our sins and acknowledging our total dependence on God and His grace for everything is a good sign of a humble disciple. As a Christian, know that you are a model of prayer in our contemporary world, but your humility will always make the difference and the wonders. Don't be too full of yourself... Just be humble! God hears the cry of the poor.
Stay blessed... Stay dry... Be Humble... Let's meet in Church...
A word of profound gratitude goes to all who played a role for the successful Sacrament of Confirmation program we had last Sunday. Monica and Linda you are just amazing! May God bless our Tri-Parish and the parishioners. Indeed our humility grows our faith. Thanks.
Fr. Emmanuel hails from Ghana and is passionate about the Gospel and bringing the love of Christ to all people. He speaks several languages, enjoys soccer and cooking, and loves St. Francis of Assisi.