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23.12.2022 18:20:46 1984x read.
Behold, the Humility of our God! (Bro. Augustine Kubdaar, General Superior of FIC Brothers)

Behold, the Humility of our God! (Bro. Augustine Kubdaar)


The experience of one priest may help bring this truth home: that the cultivation of the virtue of humility often involves a lot of emotional pain and mental struggle. A lady approached this priest with a prayer request. Her problem was that people neither loved nor cared for her, and she was bitter about it. Her life, she complained, could best be described as one long story of humiliation, mistreatment and downright dehumanization at the hands of especially the people she cared most about. Per divine providence, the priest invited her to pray the litany of humility with him. She was supposed to respond to each of the lines. The only line she responded to with ease was the first line that says, "o Jesus, meek and humble of heart," to which she was to respond "hear me". The subsequent responses were given hesitatingly and grudgingly. And by the time the priest got to the last line; "that others may be loved more than I", she had had enough. "What kind of a prayer is this?" she asked. "How can I pray that others be loved and esteemed more than I?" "that in the opinion of the world others may increase, and I decrease?" "That others be chosen, and I set aside?". There is no gain in saying the lady's struggle is by no means peculiar.


To say that humility was the prominent trait of the entire life of our Lord Jesus Christ on earth may come across as mere belaboring of the obvious. However, if there is any one moment we must pause to reflect again on the obvious, it is Christmas. When we look at the beautiful Christmas cribs that we have become ever more adept at making, it may not occur to us how much humility is being taught us there. The God of the universe chose to humble himself to the point of taking human nature, being born in a little village in the feeding place of animals. His humility brought him to the point of vulnerability: a helpless baby that needed the care of his parents to be fed, washed, clothed, cuddled and protected. If that were not enough, his life would be in danger from birth. And so we may wonder: how much did it take the Son of God to be so humble? And the right answer is "Everything!" St Paul described it as self-emptying. He gave up everything that he should have guarded jealously to be vulnerable in the hands of men. This vulnerability will mark his entire earthly life while also serving as the window through which his power and glory shine forth to the world.


However, what should never escape our notice is that it is precisely in his vulnerability that we behold the greatness and glory of our God. His vulnerability becomes the place of encounter with humanity. How is this not a call to us to view our fragility as the place of meeting with the humble Saviour? But, per our common experience, we realize with dismay that surrendering our 'ego' is the most difficult thing for us. This is so because it seems the only vehicle that brings humility to us is humiliation. No one ever grows in humility without some form of humiliation. Yet this is our calling. The term "Christian" is no mere title but a character. By our religious profession, we have chosen to do this in grand style. We have given up our wills so that we may perfectly imitate our Lord's example, cultivating a character properly called "Christian". How have we fared so far?

Perhaps this Christmas is my moment of grace to pray more fervently that my brothers become holier than I, provided that I become as holy as I should. May the Lord grant us enough courage to let go, to the point of becoming vulnerable in His hands. That is, just as our Saviour's vulnerability was his point of contact with humanity, so may our vulnerability/fragility serve as our place of meeting with Him this Christmas!


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