Back in December 2013, just a few months after Pope Francis had become pope, a famous politician said "The new Pope is a humble man, very much like me, which probably explains why I like him so much!" Well, I'll leave it to your judgement whether you think a politician is a humble person! But unquestionably, humility is an important quality for Christians to possess ("Blessed are the meek and humble," says Jesus in the Beatitudes, Mt 5:5)
But what exactly is humility? This Sunday's gospel explores the question.
We often think of humility as considering ourselves as unworthy, as small, as incapable of doing very much at all. The parable in Sunday's gospel rejects that notion. The servant who undervalues himself and his talents, who thinks he can't do much with the little talent he's been given, is not praised. Instead, he's dismissed as wicked and useless.
The parable suggests that true humility consists not in wallowing in unworthiness, but in recognizing our gifts and talents, whatever they are, and trying to use them to the best of our abilities. St. Ignatius Loyola reminds us that everything - all of life - is gift. God made us exactly as we are, and "God don't make no junk!" as my high school youth minister liked to joke. God created each of us in his "image and likeness," and that means each of us possesses infinite worth. It also means we each have been endowed with unique, God-given gifts to share with the world - gifts that God really NEEDS us to share with the world. In other words, our talents aren't ours. We didn't create them so we can't cling on to them as if they're our possession.
True humility, then, means "shooting for the moon," using the gifts we've been given as best we can, remembering that they come God and are meant to be given back to him in loving service.
-Fr. Jeremy Zipple, S.J.
PLEASE PRAY FOR THOSE ON RETREAT THIS WEEK AS WELL AS OUR DECEASED RETREATANTS.
PLEASE PRAY FOR PEACE IN OUR COMMUNITY