Saturday, August 31, 2019

I am a nobody (Juan Diego)

  I am a nobody.  I am a short rope.  A small ladder.  The tail end.  A leaf.

--Juan Diego, to whom 
Our Lady of Guadalupe 
appeared in 1531

Friday, August 30, 2019

The invitation to humility (Fr. Ron Rolheiser)

   The invitation to humility is a clear and constant echo inside of Christian spirituality, from Jesus through Mother Teresa, through every spiritual guide worthy of the name:  Become like a little child.  Take the lowest place.  Never consider yourself better than anyone else.  Know that you need God’s mercy as much as the greatest sinner on earth.  However, we don’t come to this by comparing ourselves to others, but by recognizing how utterly naked we all stand outside of God’s mercy.

--Fr. Ron Rolheiser, OMI
Facebook, January 8, 2018

Image source:  Rubens, Feast of Simon the Pharisee (1618-1620)

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Sunday Gospel Reflection, September 1, 2019: Go and take the lowest place...

What does it mean to humble yourself?

   The Book of Sirach makes humility sound very appealing:  My child, conduct your affairs with humility, and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts.  But what does it mean to humble yourself?  Etymologically, the word comes from the Latin humilis, meaning literally on the ground; it is related to the word humus, or earth.  Any act of humility depends on how we position ourselves with relation to God; we need to know our own limitations, and not be sage beyond our capacity; we need to place ourselves on the ground, as it were.  It also depends on how we position ourselves with relation to others, as Jesus makes clear in Luke’s Gospel:  when you are invited, go and take the lowest place.  Such an act potentially also has appealing consequences:  the one who humbles himself will be exalted.  Why?  Because he recognizes that the world does not rotate around him; because, from a position of humility, there is room for growth, for transformation, for God’s revelation in our lives.  Psalm 68 is all about God’s goodness – it is a call to humility as we recognize that God takes care of God’s people.

   Finally, it is from this place of profound humility that we can perhaps begin to grasp the immense humility of Jesus himself, sent by God to become the mediator of a new covenant, as the Book of Hebrews puts it, sent to die that his blood might speak more eloquently than that of Abel of the love God has for God’s people.  There is no more powerful act of humility in all of human history, no more remarkable act of humility than this act of Jesus Christ – which allows us all to embrace salvation and approach the city of the living God, humbly, and with profound gratitude.

This post is based on Fr. Pat’s Scripture class.
Image source: