The Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
‘The Goal of a Humble Heart”
October 23, 2016
The real ornament of life which is precious in the sight of God is a meek and humble heart. Every Christian who has a good understanding of scripture will, to some degree, be humble, for those who approach the Bible with a proud attitude will find it shut like a clam and nothing will be revealed. Today’s Gospel reading, the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector, shows us that the real attitude of a person is revealed in the way they pray. Obviously the Pharisee prayed with arrogance and self-righteousness, while the tax collector prayed simply to God, asking for mercy because he was a sinner. In Luke 18:14 Jesus says, “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other (the Pharisee), for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Sadly, the world has never had much use for humility. “Throughout time,” says one writer, “it is a virtue that has not been greatly praised, except by a few,” because humility is not only misunderstood by the world but by the Church, too. Some people mistake it for a lack of ambition or an inferiority complex, but let us not be confused by its true meaning. We must have a balanced estimate of ourselves – one that is not too high and not too low. I believe that humility is a teachable spirit, an attitude that recognizes a humble acceptance of the fact that without God’s help, one cannot understand the depths of truth. The true way to be humble is not to stoop until you are smaller than yourself but to stand at your real height against some higher nature that will show you what the real smallness of your greatness is. Stand at your highest and then look at Christ our Lord. The consciousness of greatness was the secret of our Lord’s humility. Jesus’ greatness was rooted in God. Being in God made Him great and humble. Great because of humility; humble because of greatness. This is the way one can be exalted. Then, what shall we do as Christians? If you already have a humble heart, stay humble. Psalm 147: 6 says, “The Lord lifts up the humble, He casts the wicked down to the ground.” When we lose our perspective on God, we lose our perspective on humility. It is as simple as that. No true vision of God – no true vision of humility. Glory to God!
(Tess A. Morata)