Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time (September 1, 2019)
Today’s Scripture readings encourage us to ask ourselves: am I humble, a virtue that finds favor with God?
As we know, St. Francis de Sales considered humility the acceptance of who I am in the eyes of God. I would imagine none of us has to be reminded that we are sinners. We’re often all too conscious of that fact.
We don’t always remember that Jesus came to earth to tell us sinners that our Father loves us. Jesus chose to die on the cross to save us from our sins and he rose to share his new life with us. Through our baptism, Jesus has made us his brothers and sisters - adopted children of his Father. We are now “graced sinners,” loved by our God. When I am thankful that I am a “graced sinner” in the eyes of God, then I am practicing true humility.
All that we are and all that we have is gift -- a gift of God’s love for us. When we accept that fact, then we can follow the advice Sirach offered us: “Conduct your affairs with humility.” That will mean recognizing our own dignity as we go about our day. It will also help us to realize that the same dignity is God’s gift to every person we meet.
God is choosing to live and work in me; God is also choosing to live and work in you. As I respect and honor God’s presence in me, so I must try to respect and honor God’s presence in you. This is the kind of humility we are asked to live today.
Remembering that I am a sinner will keep me aware of my limitations; remembering that I am graced will help me to trust in God’s providence for me. Remembering that I am a sinner will keep me from judging others; remembering that I am graced will move me to reach out to others who are suffering. Remembering that I am a sinner will lead me to call on God’s mercy frequently; remembering that I am graced will lead me to be thankful often during the day.
Let us be humble before the Lord and with one another today. Sirach assures us that we will find favor with God.