This command, which is given to us by the author of the book of Sirach, truly and succinctly sums up the message of today’s readings.  Therefore, it is good for us to reflect what humility is, what it is not, and how it calls us to live.  Obviously, the virtue of humility calls us to make sure that we do not do anything that cultivates within ourselves an attitude or even a pattern of behavior that somehow we are better or superior to any one. We need to be careful here, because we may have a tendency to conclude rather hastily that we indeed are not displaying any kind of arrogance or condescension. I say this because one of the few indisputable facts that I believe I have correctly discerned in my fifty-six years of life is that we human beings seem to have an amazing ability (no matter what we tell ourselves) to compare ourselves favorably with others, especially in the sphere of morality.  (How is that for modeling humility?)  Neither, however, does humility mean that we should see ourselves as lesser than others. That is another pitfall into which we can fall. We are all equal in the eyes of God. Of course, practicing humility means that we do not brag about any talents or special abilities that we might have, it means that we understand that they are gifts from God.  On the other hand humility does not mean that we display a false modesty or that we deny the gifts that God has given us.  Humility demands that we recognize all that we have for what they are-gifts from God to be used for the benefit of His Kingdom. Whatever gifts we have-and we all have gifts; (no one is off the hook!)-are to be recognized acknowledged and developed by us and generously used for the betterment of others. Humility is responsible stewardship. We are not to boast about our gifts or hide them under a bushel basket. Humility is the ability to see the world and everyone and everything in it as God does -with complete and utter clarity- and then to conduct our affairs accordingly.

AuthorCathy Remick