God exalts the humble

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By Rev. Fr. Tristan Jasper D. Laforteza

TWENTY-SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME. There was a boxing legend who boarded a plane to attend to his fight. At the close of the takeoff, the flight attendant noticed that he was not wearing a seatbelt. The flight attendant told him, “Sir, please fasten your seatbelt.” But the boxing legend replied, “Don’t you know that superman doesn’t need a seatbelt?” The flight attendant was annoyed at his answer and said to him, “Well then, Sir, I also believe that superman doesn’t need to board a plane.” The boxing legend was humbled by what the flight attendant had said.

I shared this with you because in our Gospel from St. Luke (14:1,7-14), Jesus said, “For every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Jesus makes it clear that one should not be too proud of oneself or over self-confident. A self-important individual may always desire to be the center of another people’s attention. However, Jesus would oftentimes emphasize humility as it has a lot of advantages. Let me share with you three of those wonderful and beautiful effects of being humble.

Point #1: HUMILITY MAKES US GRATEFUL. Humble people know that all they possess is a grace from God. They have nothing to boast about their own good and capabilities but of God’s gifts and love that brought them to the achievements they enjoy right now.

Likewise, humble people owe a debt of gratitude to others who helped them in one way or the other. On the other hand, proud people focus only on their own selves reaching the point of forgetting about God. Thus, they are not convinced to be thankful for they take all the credits to themselves.

Point #2 HUMILITY MAKES US FRIENDLY. The humble do not look at other people as competitors over anything but rather collaborators. They know for themselves that they have the talents and resources to assist others. But they also accept that they have weaknesses and limitations to need help from God and their neighbors. In this way, they don’t underestimate others, nor do they overestimate themselves. Hence, they rejoice over other’s success. They don’t tend to judge nor to wait for other people’s mistakes.

Nevertheless, arrogant people always want to be on top of their seemingly ‘rivals’.

Point #3: HUMILITY MAKES US PEACEFUL. Humble people find calmness and peace in their heart amidst the world’s complexity. They remain simple and contented in life. Hence, they don’t hold onto complicated aspirations and dispositions in life. They celebrate over small achievements. In their open mindedness, they easily cope up with life’s challenges and imperfections. Thus, frustrations, disappointments, desiring popularity and power are less to exist. Humble people develop a high sense of positivity which leads them to be happy and fulfilled in life.

Finally, I wish to share with you the words of Saint Augustine, “It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.”

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