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Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle C

Reflecting on Luke 14: 1, 7-14

“You-mill-ee-tay,” Queen Guinevere jousts with the arrogant Lancelot, using the French pronunciation of humility. Lancelot brags that he is the purest and most honorable of all knights. Guinevere rolls her eyes, astonished that he doesn’t see the glaring chink in his armor, his appalling lack of humility. (We won’t concern ourselves with where the rest of that story goes.)

The deeply humble person is, ironically, the favorite person in any room. I know many of them. These are the people who have accomplished that hardest of tasks, the ability to hear criticism, and then use it to mold their better selves. It takes such humility to accept criticism.

Sometimes I wonder if my humble friends just don’t know how brilliant, how kind, how lovable they are. Of course they do. Humility isn’t about not loving yourself, not giving yourself credit. It’s about loving and respecting everyone else, too.

That’s what makes them so attractive, of course. They are genuinely interested in, delighted in, every person. They have that God’s-eye view of the human race. It’s as if they are excited to learn what it is that God sees in each of us.

I remember a music composition teacher I had in college. He would transform our little compositions into these beautiful pieces, wholly by his own terrific piano skills. Then he would praise us and tell us how well we had done. And somehow we believed him! That’s the humble person, the one who points to the other. You never forget, as Maya Angelou might say, the way a humble person makes you feel.

God is found, the psalmist tells us, through a humble and contrite heart. O God, help us find you.

What professional or spiritual disciplines have formed you in humility?

Kathy McGovern ©2022

Ordinary Time - Cycle C

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