Sat. Oct 24th, 2020

This coming Sunday, the readings are all about humility. And the readings approach two distinct manifestations of humility. In the Gospel Jesus tells His audience that they should not seek the place of honor when they go to a banquet and they should not invite just rich and powerful people to their parties. I think when we hear these readings that is probably the takeaway. You know, be humble.
But don’t miss the other way that humility is discussed. In the second reading from the letter to the Hebrews, we are reminded that we, “have not approached that which could be touched and a blazing fire and gloomy darkness and storm and a trumpet blast and a voice speaking words such that those who heard begged that no message be further addressed to them.” Rather, we, “have approached Mount Zion and the city of the living God.”
In other words, the God of the universe lowered Himself in true humility and became small and “belonged” to a little, rather insignificant city. Think about that, and then it gets even more humble when the King of the Universe lowers Himself and takes on a human nature. God takes on the nature of one of His creatures. That, my dear brothers and sisters, is true humility.
With that example, let us remind ourselves that no matter how much we humble ourselves, or think that we humble ourselves, it can never match the humbling that God did for us. And, if we are honest, when we think we are humbling ourselves maybe we aren’t. Maybe we are just putting ourselves where we actually belong. For example, if I think I am humbling myself to spend time with a homeless person, I am greatly mistaken. That is not really humbling myself so much as it is a more realistic appraisal of my dignity and the worth and dignity of the other.
— Pat Arensberg is the Director of the Office for Evangelization and Family Life. Email him at
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