Deacon Blog March 6, 2019
When we read the accounts of the Saint’s lives or other great leaders of the Church, one virtue stands out among them all. Whether it is stated implicitly or through the example of their lives, Humility plays an integral role as a foundational component of a true imitation of Christ. I think this has been a persistent theme of ministry since the time of Moses. In our recent daily Mass readings we have been hearing of the newly formed disciples of Jesus struggling with their humanity and resisting the efforts of others outside their close circle of twelve. Speaking of an exorcist that was not one of them, John asks “we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us”. “Follow us?” Earlier we read of the disciples completely ignoring Jesus’ revelation that HE would be arrested, tortured, and killed and on the third day be raised. This was the first explanation of the most extraordinary event in human history and they were too busy arguing about who was greatest or most important among them. My first thoughts on this reminds me of the division between Protestant and Catholic faiths. It often is more about the differences we have than the commonality we share, despite all the immeasurable good done by both on behalf of the Savior’s mission.
But aside from this reality, often the witness of humanity’s work as the body of Christ (here I refer to all Christians, not merely it’s leaders) is often tainted with ego and man’s desire to “be in charge” of things. The difficulty here is that truly humble people almost never speak of humility because it is who they are as opposed to what they say. It speaks to the disposition of the soul as opposed to a dialogue. In fact, it is more a by-product of prayer than the achievement of study or virtuous work. Humility acquires us as opposed to us acquiring humility.
On this Holy Ash Wednesday, we enter a sacred journey of discovery about ourselves that should deepen our understanding that the LORD of the Universe Humbled HIMSELF to be among us… as one of us. Part of this presence among us will soon include a torture and death, beyond our experiences, all to prove the depth of Love our GOD has for us and HIS desire to be with us eternally. Somehow, we tend to forget this in our day-to-day lives. Or at least it appears so from the outside. We can quickly devolve into “soap opera pettiness” when things don’t go as we wish. We can let our anger ferment over situations, driving a deep wedge through our peace.
My prayer is for all the children of GOD to realize how valuable this season of Lent is, and to use it wisely as a gift from the Church for access to the sacred understanding that opens our hearts to the fact that “LOVE has Come to Us”. We now have forty days to decide how we are to say “Thank You” with our lives. This is the meaning of LIFE… “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return”
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