Homily – August 28, 2016

I once read that another word for pride is ‘ego enhancement.’ We can imagine ourselves to be more handsome, more talented, more intelligent and more popular than we really are. These can be our ways of our presuming to take the place of honor among our friends and acquaintances.

My doctor wants me to use a cane in case I have a fall. I told him I didn’t want to and he asked me why. I told him I was too proud, in other words I didn’t want to appear to be dependent on a cane or other people. He asked me, ’and what is it that come before the fall?’ Pride, the first of the deadly sins. I have the problem of ego enhancement; I don’t like to be dependent on other people.

A number of years ago I received a letter from a young man who was interested in joining the Passionists. He signed his letter, the Lord’s humble doormat. I wrote back and told me that our community was not into accepting doormats. I imagine he was trying to impress me with his humility

We can have very distorted ideas of humility. We may see ourselves as of no value or as failures. We fail to acknowledge the gifts with which we have been bless or we may squander them. We put ourselves down; we think of ourselves as something like door mats and think we are humble.

Jesus tells us that those who humble themselves will be exalted. We are truly humble when we have a conscious awareness that we are gifted men or women. We are humble when we recognize the truth that before the world began God chose us in Christ to be God’s adopted sons and daughters. We are humble when we become aware of and accept the natural and supernatural gifts with which God blessed us. Humility is that gift of God by which we acknowledge our status before God which is, we are sons and daughters of God, not doormats, never doormats.

The blessed mother was being totally humble when she told her cousin Elizabeth, ‘henceforth all generations will call me blessed because he who is mighty has done great things for me.’ We are being humble when we acknowledge, he who is mighty has done great things for me. We are humble when we develop a personal attitude of gratitude, always grateful for the gifts with which we have been blessed. This can be our true ‘ego enhancement’ proud of whom we are before God, his beloved son or daughter.

May the Lord bless us and give us peace and keep us humble.