Sisters and brothers in Christ!
At the outset of the new school year, the best teacher the world ever had – Jesus Christ, is giving a lesson. Before teachers start their classes this year Christ gives the first one. However his class isn’t just for the primary, middle or high school students. His class is for all of us. What is the topic of his lecture? If you paid attention to the Gospel passage for this Sunday you know it already – HUMILITY. Jesus Christ isn’t giving us a talk on good manners at table but he trains us in humility. Humility is necessary if one is to learn, as humility makes us acknowledge that there is more to learn, that we don’t know everything. A humble person can learn a lot. One may say that the proud can learn a lot too. Well, it is true but a humble person will take his knowledge where it can serve those who are less knowledgeable. On the other hand a proud person will go where he or she can make others to serve him or her because he or she knows more.
I like the story of the priest who became a missionary because it shows us what humanity is all about. Sometimes people say how insignificant they are, how little they know but in their hearts they just pray that somebody may deny it and start saying how clever and wonderful they are. The priest from the story was humble enough to learn a lot. But he was humble not prestige hungry as he was prepared to use his high qualifications to serve the poor instead of promoting himself. Like the man from the parable, told by Jesus today, he chose the last seat. Because of that he gave those who would never be able to go
higher to benefit from his skills as he was mixing with them.
Humility is based on a realistic judgment of myself. It has nothing to do with laziness, cowardice, passiveness, not having own opinion, withdrawal from social network. A truly humble person know what he or she can achieve and will work hard and consistently to achieve it. If you want to know what proves that there is humility in you let me tell you that it is JOY. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church says: “The humble are not surprised by their distress; it leads them to trust more, to hold fast in constancy.” Seeing their failures they also see an opportunity to improve, to work harder. In their successes they praise God as it is God who is the source of their joy not their successes. The priest who has been now working in Africa for a number of years isn’t miserable and depressed. He doesn’t think that he wastes his time there but he cheerfully uses his skills to serve his new friends. JOY AND HUMILTY ARE TWINS.