Each of us is just one of over seven billion people upon this plant Earth. Earth is just one little speck in the vast galaxy called the Milky Way. The Milky Way is just one of a hundred billion galaxies in our universe. And scientists estimate that the universe is close to fourteen billion years old.
In both space and time, in both size and length of years, each one of us is so very, very, very small. We are as a grain of sand in the vast Sahara Desert. Our littleness is compounded by the fact that we have our share of weaknesses, sins and limitations. We are of little account.
A rabbi was once asked to explain how is it that, in days long past, God was very visible and present. But nowadays, hardly anyone sees him. The rabbi observed, “Nowadays there is no one who bows low enough.”
After a long dialogue with God, Job finally bowed low enough. “Behold, I am of little account.” He regained not only his possessions, but also his peace of mind, knowing who he was in the presence of God the Creator.
We read in the First Letter of St. Peter, “God resists the proud but gives his grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5).” Looking up at the stars and beyond to the Creator of the stars, we humbly respond with one word: “WOW!” God’s grace follows. And we live our lives in a constant attitude of gratitude.
Fr. Alan Phillip, C.P. is a member of the Passionist Community at Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California. http://www.alanphillipcp.com/