22nd Sunday of the Year – Humility

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Study:  Consider people you know who relate to others in a humble and open manner.

Pray:  Where in your own life can you ask God for the humility to address a situation or concern?

Serve:  How might you be able to humbly help another, without thought of reward or recognition?

22nd Sunday Readings

The first reading and Gospel today invite us to practice the virtue of humility.  This is a good reminder, especially since this virtue often gets little or no attention.  Let’s face it – humility is not the sort of idea that sells advertising or readily leads to promotions.  Often humility is viewed as an outlet for the weak and pious.

So what does it mean to be humble?  Here are a few things it is NOT:
* we do not grovel or belittle ourselves
* we do not pretend that we are worthless
* we do not ignore our blessings or talents
* we do not adopt a self-debasing attitude

Humility is a virtue that is fundamentally rooted in our faith.  It is based on these points:

1.  There is a God; I am not Him!

2.  I am made in God’s image & likeness

3.  God does not make junk

4.  I have sinned and made mistakes

5.  God has redeemed me through the Cross

In this light we are called to two essential elements.  First, we need to gain an accurate sense of PERSPECTIVE.  We recognize God’s presence in our lives, and we see and acknowledge our own sin and weakness.  We must truly examine ourselves in the light of the Lord’s grace and love.

Second, we are called to a faithful and healthy RESPONSE.  If I see and understand myself with honesty, then I will act in a manner that reflects my need for God’s forgiveness.  I treat others according to the teaching of Christ:  with love, forgiveness, mercy and hope.  Knowing our own sinfulness thus allows us to respond to others with compassion…… and humility!

Humility thus requires a few basic ingredients.  We are asked to honestly know our hearts; we discover and trust in the Lord’s grace; we respond to our brothers and sisters with heightened awareness; we recognize that our lives have meaning – as we share the gifts and talents (given to us by God) for the good of our world.

When these ingredients are present we discover a profound freedom and joy.  God loves us!  We are invited to see clearly and act accordingly, thus allowing our lives to honestly reflect our faith in Christ.

About Fr. Andrew Ricci

A Catholic priest since 1997, Fr. Andrew Ricci is currently the rector of the Cathedral of Christ the King in Superior, WI. His website "Three Great Things" can be found at studyprayserve.com and his podcasts can be found under "Catholic Inspiration" in the iTunes store. View all posts by Fr. Andrew Ricci

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