Saint for the day: Augustine of Hippo (354-430)
(Click on the following “link” for today’s scripture readings)
Sirach 3:17-18 … 29 – Psalm 68 – Hebrews 12:19-19, 22-24 – Luke 14:1, 7-14
Jesus says, “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”(today’s Holy Gospel according to St. Luke)
I tend to favor the Sunday liturgies because the scripture readings are more deliberately selected to compliment the theme of the day. During the week the scripture readings are moving along on two independent cycles and may or may not easily fit together.
But today, the opening words of the first reading from Search; “My child, conduct your affairs with humility…” and the opening line from the Responsorial Psalm; “The just rejoice and exult before God” lead us right into the Holy Gospel where we hear Jesus saying, “everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
We don’t have to be rocket scientists to get the gist of what the Church is trying to tell us today. We’re back to the basics and to a clear understanding of what it means to be “humble!”
But, before we go any further let’s put aside any notion that “humility” implies some kind of groveling, breast-beating, “poor me” attitude. I know that I’ve said it many times before but here it is again: that word “humility” has its roots in the Latin word “humus” – meaning earth or earthly.
To be truly “humble” means we know something about ourselves and who we are in the eyes of God. (Remember, you are dust and into dust you shall return.) It is our ability to honestly stand before our God, knowing that we are totally dependent on His love and mercy and that all of our “goodness” is rooted in Him. This is what “fear of the Lord” really means: that we can stand before our God in awe of the fact He has invited us into His presence where HE desires to exalt us.
If you come before God in this sense of true humility, you will always be exalted far beyond your means. But you can’t “fake it!” Honestly knowing who we are in the eyes of God and that our goodness and worth originates from HIS goodness in us will enable us to hear Him say, “My friend, move up to a higher position.” Amen!