Sunday, September 1, 2013


To my son Tommy,

There is many a reason that most Catholic churches fill the back rows first, but today's Gospel is probably one of the most cited.  The reading warns us not to seek a place of honor above our station.  The parable challenges us to be humble in our pursuits.  It also challenges us to do things without seeking reward or repayment.  We are promised the humble shall be exalted

Humility is a tricky thing.  Many are filled with a false sense of humbleness that is used to game the system.  Many think humility is thinking less of yourself on purpose even though you don't believe it.  Some go off fishing for compliments and flattery by purposely downplaying an event.  They receive their fleeting temporal reward soon after. True humility is far from these examples and is based in intention and service and sacrifice and love.

Intent is a big part of humble action.  We sit pretty close to the front of the church now.  It isn't because we think we deserve to be sitting in front of others nor to draw attention to ourselves.  No, we sit there because Nansy with her wheelchair likes to sit in the alcove there.  It is not pride or ego that drives us to the front rows but a desire to join our extended family as we worship.

Service is another part of living a humble life.  We must live to serve others and serve our fellow man.  We must not raise our pride above any job that needs doing and we must do these jobs serving humanity with a smile.  Often in this world people believe certain jobs below their status.  They won't dig ditches or pick up trash or mow lawns because that would be beneath them.  Ask yourself, who would effect our lives more if they stopped doing their jobs? the high priced well respected business man or the often looked down upon trash man?  I think I could live without the suits.  The humble trash collector does more of a service for us yet rarely receives any thought or praise.  If there is a job to do, even if it stinks, get out and do it and do it with a smile and pure intention in your heart.

As you serve with pure intent, you will find you may have to sacrifice.  Humility demands a sacrifice of pride and ego, but the sacrifice doesn't necessarily end there.  I think of the destitute father who sacrifices his own meal to feed his child.  I think of that struggling mother, who kids are not wanting for anything, who always finds a couple dollars for the poor box by sacrificing her own luxuries.  I think of the police officer who just lost his life serving a warrant in our neighborhood who, along with his family, sacrificed so much to try and protect our neighborhood.  All these people sacrifice so much for others.

Those who sacrifice and serve and do it with pure intent show us how to love.  That is why humility is a concept and virtue in most every major religion throughout the world.  Some think it a challenge to lead a humble life but their real challenge is to learn how to truly love, for if your heart has true love living within, humility is second nature.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

No comments:

Post a Comment