Study: How do you recognize a humble person? What qualities do you look for in others?
Pray: Do you struggle with pride (the opposite of humility) in some aspect of your life? Ask the Lord to soften your heart.
Serve: Is there a way you can help someone without calling attention to yourself? How might you do a random act of kindness today, without any desire for personal acknowledgement?
Mass Readings – 4th Sunday of the Year
Let’s take a quick overview of the readings this week:
- 1st Reading – Seek the Lord…seek justice, seek humility
- Psalm – “Blessed the poor in spirit, the kingdom of heaven is theirs!”
- 2nd Reading – God chooses the foolish, the weak and the lowly
- Gospel – The Sermon on the Mount
Throughout these readings the notion of humility surfaces, and this virtue often serves as a foundation for our life of faith. Here are some reasons why…
First, humility sets us in right relation with God. About the time we get caught up in ourselves, something happens that derails our plans and reminds us that we are not the center of the universe. When we see our lives in a larger context (the country, the world, the solar system…you get the idea) we suddenly discover that we are in fact very, very small. As the creator of all we look to the Lord with a deeper understanding and consideration that our lives – a bit of dust for a blink of an eye – are nothing compared to the glory and grandeur of God.
Second, humility sets us in right relation with others. Every person we meet is created in the image and likeness of God, and our lives are sustained by the Father’s will alone. The same grace that forgives us our sins also extends to our sisters and brothers…and if the Lord lavishes mercy upon all in their moment of need, then perhaps we might want to cut them a little slack in their shortcomings as well. Simply put, we can be kind, patient and forgiving with others as God has been with us.
Third, humility helps us honestly assess our human hearts. Seeing ourselves in proper relationship with the Lord and one another, we can embrace our lives (with their blessings & burdens) and live our faith in a genuine and engaging way. We see our sins with greater clarity, comprehend God’s mercy more fully, and live with gratitude the gifts we’ve been given with joy as we bring aid and assistance to one another. In other words, humility helps us to be authentic: we know ourselves better so we can share our lives more fully with one another.
Through humility we place God first as we sincerely and honestly reach out to those around us. A humble person is open, honest, easy to get along with and helpful in a moment of need. May our faith in Christ teach us humility, and help us to humbly respond to those the Lord sets before us today.