The Greater You Are, The More You Must Humble Yourself

08-28-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

The fall of man in the Garden of Eden was orchestrated by the sin of pride. Man wanted to be like God, in fact, to be God unto himself and this led humanity to disobedience. It was only through the humility of Christ, who though was in the form of God did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, was all humanity gifted redemption.

Humility is therefore the only medication that adequately attends to the injury of vice occasioned by pride. St. Augustine of Hippo says, “It was pride that changed Angels into devils; it is humility that makes men Angels.” The person who finds that to rise one should first descend, and to build a tower that would pierce the clouds the builder must first lay a deep foundation, has truly acquired priceless wisdom and enlightenment.

This is why in the First Reading this weekend, Sirach places meekness even above charity. For where is the flavor of charity if giving is done in arrogance and pride? For Sirach, the humble person finds favor with men, and God reveals the mysteries of the kingdom only to the humble.

In the Gospel, Jesus cautioned His Disciples on the temptation to seek self-adulation when he saw people taking choice seats at a feast. He used the opportunity to advise His disciples to be humble in service to one another, even when carrying out charitable works. For Jesus, giving with one hand with the intention of receiving with the other does not fit well with Kingdom virtues.

We live in a world where people crave attention and acknowledgement for every accomplishment, even when it is supposed to be a discreet charity. The desire for affirmation and applause seems to have possessed too many souls. We are reminded today that whatever we are, and whatever we have, has been given to us and so we are nothing but grateful and humble receivers of God’s gratuitous gifts.

Let us hear St. Augustine again: “Humility is the foundaࢼ on of all the other virtues; hence, in the soul in which this virtue does not exist, there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance.” May we be aided by Grace to learn humility from Christ, Himself, so that our love of God and service to our neighbor will always be fruitful.

Please be kind and may God bless you.

Fr. Manasseh