22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Sirach 3:17-18, 20, 28-29;Psalm 68:4-7, 10-11; Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24; Luke 14:1, 7-14
Humble yourself the more, the greater you are, and you will find mercy in the sight of God. (Sirach 3:18)
Pride is like uncooked spaghetti. It’s brittle, easily offended. It’s inedible and won’t even fit in the pot until it begins to soften. Only after it absorbs the hot water of “suffering” can it be twirled around a fork as nourishing food. So what are some ways that we can counteract that brittle pride? How can we best follow Sirach’s advice and humble ourselves? First, it’s helpful to see that we often have a false notion of humility. It’s not unusual to think that a humble person is someone with a low opinion of himself or herself. All too often, people equate humility with a sense of inadequacy or even worthlessness.
But Sirach sets us straight. Humility has nothing to do with how lowly we think we are or how self-effacing we act. It has to do with who we know God and others to be. If we know how great God is, we won’t feel the need to put ourselves down just so that we can exalt him. God doesn’t need our help to look better than he is! In fact, valuing everyone and everything he has made—including ourselves—only exalts him all the more!
Just as disparaging ourselves doesn’t help exalt the Lord, neither does it help us look more humble among our peers. All people have their own special gifts and talents, and the more we use them to build the kingdom together, the more we show the world what true servanthood—humble dedication to a cause greater than ourselves—looks like.
So practice humility by exalting the Lord and honoring your brothers and sisters. Let your service to him and his people soften any brittleness in your heart. You are part of his perfect plan, and the more you embrace that plan, the more your life will shine—to the glory of Jesus!
“Father, you are wise and good and powerful. Teach me true humility as I praise you, love your people, and serve your Church!” ~WAU