Dear Faith Family,
I don’t know about you, in my worst moments, I tend to think that I don’t have an issue with humility. During this frustrating pandemic, it has been so easy to see the faults in others. There is something about being cooped in in our homes for so long, that a lot of us have built a habit of being more critical of others. When I see others messing up, I compare myself to them, knowing that I haven’t been caught in some crazy scandal. This is not very healthy and most definitely not an exercise of humility.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus’ declaration of “the first shall be the last” is something that has been tattooed into our brains. Like many good things that we hear, sometimes we take it for granted. We obviously are great people, but Jesus gives us clear instruction on how to strengthen the kingdom — through humility.
How can we truly believe Jesus’ declaration and truly live it out? Servant leadership and the willingness to sacrifice themselves for their neighbors. I think this is what true humility looks like.
Although we may not have arguments spoken out loud about why we are the holiest or the greatest examples, we can seldom fall into that trap of thinking it without saying it aloud. When we judge others improperly, it is roundabout way of “peacocking” our holy feathers.
So does this mean we infringe on others to implore them to live their lives more fully? No. But the only way we can help others onto a righteous path is through humility.
Must we deny our own talents for the sake of humility? No. Years ago, Father Patrick told me that true humility is actually knowing your talents and using them for the betterment of others.
So don’t let Jesus’ message in the gospel make you feel that you are to never speak up. It is not a cautionary gospel to let us know to stay out of each other’s business, but rather, within this same gospel he gives us an example of how to love; the willingness to die for others.
Through Christ’s death and Resurrection, comes true humility. The willingness to die for the sake of others is so centrally Christian, that it is necessary for us to do so. If we want to bring others closer to God, we must be willing to sacrifice ourselves for them.