1 Corinthians 11:17-26, 33
When I was young my great-aunts used to say things like: ‘Vaya con Dios’ whenever I left their houses, ‘Si Dios Querien’ whenever we spoke about the future, and ‘Gracias a Dios!’ when something good happened. These statements, no matter how ordinary or small, always have reminded me where to fix my eyes, no matter the situation. Even the good things that I accomplish are for the glory and from the willingness of God.
A shining example of humility is brought forth in today’s Gospel. Humility is knowing where our gifts and talents come from, realizing that everything comes from God, and that everything should be offered back to Him. In the Gospel, the elders claim that the centurion "deserves" to have Jesus heal his servant. Yet, friends come later with a statement from the centurion himself, "Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof. Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you; but say the word and let my servant be healed."
We pray this before coming to receive Jesus in the Eucharist, humbly presenting our faith. Humility is key to opening our hearts and lives to Christ. At the Paschal Sacrifice we witness the unending love that Jesus had for us by dying on the Cross. As witnesses, we are called to go forth and proclaim what we participate in at every Mass. This is our primary objective as followers and children of the Father. The gifts he has given us are meant for us to evangelize in various ways.
In my own life, I relate asking for humility to asking for a bolt of lightning or asking for trouble. Even though we ask for humility, it is can be hard to accept when it comes. There are often times when I am brought back to the reality that I am a human who makes mistakes. When those moments happen, I glance up to heaven and say "Okay, I get it." God does grant me the gift of humility, but am I always apt to receive it when and in the way it comes?
As we reflect today, let the example of the centurion remind us to have the faith that all it would take was a word and the humility to know that we are not worthy but made so by His grace.
Kim Valdez is a Pastoral Associate at Holy Name Passionist Retreat Center in Houston, Texas.