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A Reflection on Humility

Updated: Jun 3, 2020

I woke up this morning, made my coffee, and opened up my Bible. I’ve been going through the Book of Sirach, and the section today was simply titled, Humility. I couldn’t go much further than the first line before I was forced to sit and reflect. It completely stopped me in my tracks.

“My child, conduct your affairs with humility, and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts.” – Sirach 3:17

Why would this be?

Who doesn’t love gifts? Honestly, the first thing that came to my mind was Santa Claus. There is no child who doesn’t dream of him, knowing that he brings them all their little hearts desire! Why would someone with humility be loved more?

Because they are not giving something of the flesh – something that can be thrown away, go bad, or be stolen (Matt. 6:19-21). The writer of this passage is speaking of people who are giving something of the heart... something that is eternal, that cannot be taken away. When one approaches others in humility, they hold the other higher than themselves.

When we act with humility, we affirm the other’s identity as a child of God  – and that is something everyone hungers and thirsts for validation of.

We can be given all the riches of the world, but without knowing that we are loved, treasured, and desired – there is no point, and we will ultimately find ourselves unfulfilled. We bear the opportunity to let others know that they are loved, treasured, and desired. That is why we ought to walk in humility. It is not for our sake, but for the sake of our brothers and sisters. Jesus did not act as the Servant of all for His own sake, but for ours – to let us know that we are loved, treasured, and desired by a Father in Heaven who has done all things, and will do all things, to claim us as His own.

May we, too, in imitation of Jesus, be a bearer of God’s love, mercy, and peace by our striving for humility.

To end this reflection, I offer you this prayer of Saint Francis –  the poverello, the little poor man. If you’ve prayed it before, I invite you to pray it a bit slower. Focus on the paradoxical intentions of the first half, and the humility that we ask for through this prayer in the second half. God bless you.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace: where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, only joy.  O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive,  it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,  and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen. Further Reading: Isaiah 53, The Litany of Humility. Further Listening: Litany of Humility (Danielle Rose), Blessed Are the Poor (Land of Color).

This blog was written by Lucas Nocera. You can find him on Instagram @tlucaspnocera.

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