Blog & Pastor Letters

Humility is a Golden Virtue

09-01-2019Weekly ReflectionRev. Victor C. Yakubu

The Christian life is fashioned after the life of Jesus of Nazareth. Although Jesus was God, he humbled himself and lived among us as a man. Although he was rich, he became poor for our sake. Instead of living in luxury as a King, he chose a simple life and lived with Mary, and Joseph the carpenter. His birth was in a manger. When he began his ministry at the age of 30, he did everything possible to change the ugly attitudes of people for only 3 years. This task of changing people's worldview was a difficult one.

He did miracles to satisfy his crowds and to demonstrate to them the power of God. He told many stories about everyday life to illustrate to the people that God loved a humble heart and frowned at a boastful one. He became a source of pain to those who did not want a change from their dangerous way of living.

Have you ever been invited to a wedding ceremony? I have attended many wedding feasts. The protocol that goes on during a wedding ceremony is beautiful. There is a place for every invitee. Nobody goes in there to sit at the wrong place. You ruin the joy of the ceremony. The bride and groom approve seats of honor. In fact, every detail is planned well ahead of time to let guests know their seats and what to expect. A wedding is like watching a suspense movie for the first time; you blink, you miss the action.

When you breech a certain protocol, the wedding planner might be offended. The bride might cry. The groom can take it personal. Other invited guests might consider you weird. Jesus has an answer. He says, "When you are invited, go and take the lowest place so that when the host comes to you he may say, 'My friend, move up to a higher position.'" Notice how Jesus solves this problem? He has given us golden advice on how to behave even at a wedding feast. He teaches us humility in a general approach to life. Humility is a virtue that makes you enjoy life beyond your imagination.

Every Christian should learn from the life of Jesus by letting humility rule your life. Wait a minute! What is the opposite of humility? Let me answer from the Bible itself. Proverbs 11: 2 says, "When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility, there is wisdom." The opposite of humility is pride and it leads to many boastful behaviors antithetical to the humility of Jesus.

A boastful person hardly accepts their faults or acknowledges their weaknesses. A boastful person thinks he knows all and nobody else is superior to them. Indeed, to live with a boastful person, you must be prepared to lose all arguments and be the looser all the time. Jesus is none of these. He follows the most practical path by urging us to be humble; as humble as taking the least seat at a wedding. By this attitude, the host will upgrade you to a higher seat of honor.

Jesus has given us many examples to keep us busy for the rest of our lives. From his parables we can learn lessons in humility and keep ourselves out of trouble. Humility is therefore a virtue that every Christian should subscribe to with plenty benefits. The behavior at a wedding feast should be orderly and respectful knowing that the bride and the groom have invited you to share in their joy. That day is considered a memorable one and no one should ruin their joy with a haughty behavior. Jesus has given us the secret to enjoying ourselves at a wedding. It is our responsibility to obey his words and be humble.

Also, the writer to the Book of Hebrews admonishes us to have respect for Mount Zion as the city of God. That place is sacred and anyone approaching it must demonstrate respect and reverence for the holy place where God dwells. This can be extended to the physical church as the dwelling place of God. How do we respect the place we worship in? Do we reverence Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament? Do we show respect while we are in the church? These questions are necessary in order to test our level of humility in the house of God. Do we prefer to make noise while we are in the presence of God? We need to change our attitude as mature Christians who have learnt from Jesus and are ready to follow his instructions.

What is the lesson today? God urges his children to be humble and gain wisdom. The first reading says, "My child, conduct your affairs with humility, and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts." The book of Sirach has a compilation of witty sayings relevant to our everyday living. God is teaching us to stop offending people by our immodesty in speech and action. Learning to stop talking all the time and listening to your loved ones can save you future embarrassment. Learn to talk less and listen more, then you will hear God clearly. Keep praying!