Cycle A 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 Zeph. 2:3; 3:12-13; 1 Cor. 1:26-31; Mt. 5:1-12

Today's First Reading from the Book of Zephaniah [Zeph. 2:3; 3:12-13] suggests that if the humble seek to obey the commands of the Lord, seeking righteousness and humility on the Day of Judgment, they will be hidden from the wrath of the Lord. Because of their simplicity, their humility, their righteousness, the Lord God will go easy on them.

The First Reading continued by stating, "For I will leave in the midst of you a people humble and lowly. They shall seek refuge in the name of the Lord...; they shall do no wrong and utter no lies, nor shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouths. Then they will pasture and lie down, and no one shall make them afraid." [Zeph. 3:12-13]

These two verses perfectly describe those who have consecrated their lives to the Lord. Humble and lowly, detached from the world, dedicated towards serving others. Relying heavily upon God in making their decisions, they know that the grace

of God is sufficient to meet all their needs, the physical ones and the spiritual ones.

The subject of today's Gospel Reading [Mt. 5:1-12a] consisted of what is known as the "Sermon on the Mount" or "The Beatitudes.

The third beatitude is "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth." [Mt. 5:5] To be meek means the same as to be "lowly." 

One day a sage came to a King for an interview. The sage had to wait for a long time because the King was very busy. Finally, the King said he could come in.

When the sage entered the hall, the first thing he did was to take off his hat and bow to the King. Immediately the King took off his crown and bowed to the sage. The ministers and others who were around the King asked, “What are you doing? He took off his hat because he is an ordinary man. But you are the King. Why should you have to take off your crown?”

The King said to his ministers, “You fools, do you think I wish to remain inferior to an ordinary man? He is humble and modest. His humility is a peerless virtue’. He showed his respect to me. If I did not take off my crown, then I would be showing less humility than an ordinary man, and I would be defeated by him. If I am the King, I should be better than everybody in everything. That is why I took off my crown and bowed to him!”

“Humility is the noble choice to forgo our status and use our influence for the good of others. It is to hold our power in service of others.” Humility is a value taught by our religious texts and teachers, practiced by them, and also followed by many.  The best leaders are marked by humility. Humility is what makes the great, great. People give up their own privileges in order to serve those who have less. For example, Mother Teresa dedicated her life to minister to the poorest people in Calcutta. She saw their needs as just as important as hers, and she chose to live at their level in order to help them.

Humility is something that is learned, not taught and only those who know the true beauty of it can understand it. A humble man brings humility wherever he goes and never has to apologize for being just that. Humility is growth and maturity. It is a quality that is important and worth learning when living life. Being humble is what will keep people you love in your life. It is what will make you appreciate all of the special moments you come across. Humility is a natural quality of beauty. It is something that you can speak a thousand times on without saying a word.

Humility is the key to progress. “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore submit to God. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” Js. 4:6-8, 10. God works according to laws. It is a natural law that if we humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand, surrendering our own will and honor, then He will give us the grace that we need to live a Christian life in truth, as well as exalt us in His time.

To be humble is to have the same mindset as Jesus Christ. He took on the form of a servant, and came in the likeness of men. “And, being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.  Phil 2:7-8.

Jesus is the ultimate example of humility. He did not value His own self-importance or honor, but freely gave it up in every situation so that God’s will could be carried out and God could be glorified through His life.

If we are of this same humble mindset, forsaking our own reputation and honor in order to be obedient to God’s word and will, we will be able to make unbelievable progress in our Christian lives.