Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ told us last week to pray always without becoming
weary (Luke 18:1-8). This Sunday, He teaches us that humility is essential to praying
well and to being His disciples. The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds, reaching the Lord our God in Heaven (Sirach 35:12-18). In Psalm 34, we pray that the Lord hears the cry of the poor. Saint Paul directly acknowledges His need for God’s help in proclaiming the Gospel, as the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed… The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat and will bring me safe to His heavenly Kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen (2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16- 18). And then, in the Gospel of Saint Luke (18:9-14), Jesus contrasts the pride-filled prayers of the Pharisee with the humble prayer of the tax collector who prays: O God, be merciful to me, a sinner. Jesus then states clearly that whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.
Jesus teaches us that humility is foundational to our spiritual life. Humility is a virtue
in which we submit to God, in obedience to His will, allowing God to work in and
through us as instruments of His love and mercy, realizing, like Saint John the Baptist,
that the Lord Jesus must increase and I must decrease ( John 3:30). And what is God’s
will? It is summed up in the two great Commandments: Love of God and love of neighbor. Humble obedience to God is at the heart of our being disciples of Jesus Christ. It is a virtue that helps us to realize the God-given dignity of all of His children, lovingly made in His image, and helps us to respond by acknowledging that we did not create ourselves and that we naturally desire to know, love and serve God in this life so as to be eternally happy with Him in Heaven.
May we grow in humility by praying for: a greater gratitude to God for His gift of life;
the grace to proclaim the Truth with love; an increased respect for life, from conception to natural death; all children, born and pre-born, and their parents; all involved in prolife work; an end to abortion and euthanasia; the conversion of Planned Parenthood, judges, politicians and all who promote a culture of death; healing for all moms and dads who chose abortion, that they know God’s mercy and love, our love for them, and that they are welcome in church as members of His Body; the culture of life to reign throughout the world; a closer relationship with Jesus in His Church, Word and Sacraments, in daily prayer with the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the Saints; all people
to witness to the love and mercy of Jesus Christ in word and deed. Yes, let us pray to
God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the source of all life and goodness, for an increase
in faith, hope and love. Amen.
With peace and prayers in Christ,