Our readings this weekend call us to grow in the virtue of humility. Our reading from Sirach, a book of moral instruction and wise sayings written about 150 years before Christ, tells us: …conduct yourself with humility… humble yourself the more, the greater you are, and you will find favor with God. Its specific warning is not to try to be like God by seeking things too sublime or going into things beyond our strength.
In the Gospel Jesus sees invited guests fighting to get the highest places at table. He warns that everyone that exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
We have all heard the saying “humility is truth.” It is false humility to deny the gifts and talents that we have. It is TRUE humility to acknowledge our gifts but recognize and give credit that our gifts come from God and use them for the good of others, not just ourselves. Humility also helps us realize that we are not always right and our way might not be the only way to view a situation; thus, humble people are able to dialog, compromise, accept differences, and forgive. So it is important for each of us to strengthen this virtue. Let us reflect this week on our place on the scale from proud to humble. Am I slowly moving toward being more humble? And let us support each other by example and prayer.
Referring to the first profession of religious vows that Simon Muema made at our 10:15 Mass on August 14, a number of people ask me a question similar to this: is the profession Simon made the last step on his way to the priesthood? Two different things are being confused here. Simon made his commitment as a Salvatorian religious and that has nothing to do with being a priest. Religious are women and men who commit themselves to live the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience in community. Salvatorians are an apostolic community so each member works in an apostolate, some as religious brothers or sisters, some choose to be prepared for sacramental ministry as priests (we also have a branch of committed lay members). But our basic commitment as religious is to each other as brothers and sisters in community. Those of you who have been around a while knew Br. Victor and Br. Edward, who ministered at Pius side by side with the priests who were doing sacramental ministry. Simon wishes to be a priest, so he will prepare for that. Silas Henderson, whom some of you know through the faith formation sessions he has given, intends to be a Salvatorian brother, not a priest.
Wauwatosa Catholic begins its academic year tomorrow. Let us accompany our school with our prayers.
Here is a link to an article that appeared the other day in the New York Times concerning Milwaukee and race. I recommend reading it.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS