It is axiomatic that sooner or later all of us find ourselves either humble or humbled. This is the lesson that Jesus teaches us in today’s gospel passage from Matthew. Our challenge as followers of Jesus is to learn the meaning of humility as it applies to our faith.
Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,
“The scribes and the Pharisees
have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
but do not follow their example.
For they preach but they do not practice.
They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry
and lay them on people’s shoulders,
but they will not lift a finger to move them.
All their works are performed to be seen.
They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’
As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’
You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
Call no one on earth your father;
you have but one Father in heaven.
Do not be called ‘Master’;
you have but one master, the Christ.
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
Jesus gives us a new definition of humility. It is only the truly humble that are exalted. Most of us think that humility means that we lose something we want. In fact, humility transforms us and makes us better. It makes us more like Jesus.
Be humble and be exalted!