Sunday of the 22nd Week in Ordinary Time
Sir. 3: 17 – 20, 28-29. Heb 12: 18-19,22-24. Luke 14: 1, 7 – 14
Humility is a key virtue for Jesus and for each of us who are committed to the Spiritual Journey. We hear it over and over in the Gospel stories. The first will be last and the last first. And today:
Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled and everyone who humbles himself will be exalted.
The word humility is a fascinating one for sure. From humas, earth, the basic stuff, radically simple, radically strong. The stuff we can’t do without. The stuff of creation. Scripturally, what we are made of – part of our DNA. So, to speak.
So how do we approach life with this virtue of humility? For us monks, humility is a foundational virtue of Benedict’s rule and has a prominent place as Chapter 7 and its 12 steps of humility.
Contrary to the mindset of our world today. Where everything is geared to the self. How do you get over it all and get down to earth, get real about our needs and especially our need for God? When we can get to the truth, we perhaps will find humility.
The struggle is fairly plain for us as we seek to overcome the mindset of self-need in a self- centered environment that we live in. The world is so focused on what I want, who I am, what I like, what I want to do, no matter how it may affect anyone else. We live in a, I came first, world.
The challenge of course, is to live with a balance that understands life worth with a humble heart. Being attentive to the true self, which is ultimately found in God and for sure I’m already a child of God. And from that perspective, I can discover my gifts. I can find the way forward to live out of the truth of God within.
Yes, God dwells within each of us – through baptism we have the “Indwelling of the Trinity” all is in place through Christ. It’s living with this truth and power.
There’s our journey –the Christian life process – to uncover and live our life with the God within. Have that intimate relationship with the God within. God is waiting for us.
We realize our true self – discover ourselves by looking at Christ, who shows us our humanity. It is Christ who show us how-to live-in humility.
Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart ; and you will find rest for your selves. For my yoke is easy and my burden light.
Jesus is giving us a great invitation here. To imitate him and find rest. This isn’t rest from a days’ work. This is the rest from the struggle of self-discovery, the work of our life- the work of living in God and accepting our true nature and gifts. Our true reality and call. Jesus shows us it is God, and there’s why his burden is light and his yoke is easy – God is with him, he is connected to God and God’s love. And like Jesus, we can’t do it without God’s love, being with God through Christ.
Jesus helps us uncover our divinity. Our life in God. In humility, we take our rightful place in the world. We are in-touch with our dignity and the beauty of each person. We have that respect that celebrates each person. Recognizing we all have a place in the scheme of things. And a willingness to give everyone their rightful place.
That’s the style of life Jesus is teaching us today. That shapes a reality that leads us to the Kingdom. And that invites us to form a society now that is just. that sees the equality of each person. And give us a peace that is life- giving . Humility is inclusive. We open ourselves to others because we are not focused on ourselves. But attentive to those around us.
Our lack of humility in the world has caused so much of our troubles and will continue to unless we have a consciousness of our need for humility that shapes our response to the world and can recreate it in the style of Jesus.
Our intention is to understand virtue. We are always working at overcoming the challenges of living with humility. Anda all the other virtues. So that we can live an authentic life in God.
St. Paul always helps; Your attitude must be that of Christ, who humbled himself. As we read in Philippines’.
Romano Guardini, defines virtue in his famous work on the Virtues. He writes: Virtue denotes something living and beautiful. It means that the motives, the powers, the actions and the being of a person are gathered at any given time into a characteristic whole by a definitive moral value, an ethical dominant. Virtue is also a matter of an attitude toward the world.
A true virtue signifies an ability to penetrate with a glance the whole existence of man. One ethical value becomes dominant and gathers together the living fulness of the personality.
I think we can understand Guardini’s definition. If you know yourself.
One more word from Jesus: remember the parable of the Publican and the Pharisee at prayer.
The humble Publican, who was looked down upon by the other, achieved righteousness before God because he knew the truth of his nature and could name it in his prayer: have mercy on me a sinner. There’s the sign of humility. Naming your truth clearly not afraid of who you are. But always moving forward on the spiritual journey to union with God in Christ.
So, let’s go forward, in truth and love, trusting God at every step of the way.