God visits and reveals Himself to the Humble
Readings: 1st: Zac 9: 9-10; Ps 145:2-3.4-9; 2nd: Rom 8:9. 11-13; Gos Mt 11: 25-30
This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico, the island of enchantment. He is the Chancellor of the Dioceses of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico; the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. For more details and comments contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.
On this 14th Sunday, the Church’s invites us in a special way to reflect on Jesus’ humility and his option for the poor. These virtues are very necessary for our Christian journey. Poverty really humbles one, especially, when it is freely “chosen” for the sake of the kingdom of God and, in imitation of Christ.
The first reading of this Sunday prefigures and epitomizes the humility of the Christ who is to come. This reading is a hope raiser for all of us. This is especially for the humble of heart, and the poor in spirit: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion…behold your king comes…humble and riding on a donkey.” Is this not wonderful? Of course, he comes to give succor and justice to the humble.
This visit is for all of us. For God, the importance of each one of us does not depend on how much we have in our accounts, our brilliant profession, our successful political career, or our successful business. To be a humble person is what is important to God. This is what merits us this divine visit from Him.
In the second reading, Paul reminds us of the need to live in the spirit. This is because, it is the spirit that produces humility. On the other hand, the flesh produces pride, and all forms of vices. “The Flesh”, as Paul uses it, refers to the human nature. It is a principle that attaches one to the world and its materialistic tendencies. Whereas, the spirit of regeneration is the light, which comes from heaven. It elevates the mind to those things that are celestial.
Thus, the indwelling of the Spirit is a sure evidence of a renewed person. Even when one is materially poor, the Spirit keeps one active and alive. Hence, Jesus in the beatitude teaches: “Blessed are the poor in spirit for they shall see God” (Mt 5:3). It is only the Spirit of Jesus that can help one attain this virtue. The mundane spirit which manifests in materialism and greed cannot afford this. This is why Paul says to us: “Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Jesus does not belong to Him.” This is because, it is the “Spirit of Jesus that give life to our mortal body.”
In the gospel, Jesus reveals, and gives us the key to the heart of His Father. This key is humility. God reveals himself to the humble of heart, and to the lowly. Therefore, “God resist the proud hearted but gives grace to the humble” (Prov 29: 23). If we must serve God well, we must be humble of heart like Christ our lord. If we humble ourselves, God will reveal the secrets his kingdom to us.
Today, Jesus beckons us: “Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” This invitation is not for the proud hearted, because they hardly realize that they are overburdened or need help. Rather, it is for the simple and humble of heart, who are fast to recognize their need for God’s intervention in their life.
It is for those who humbly shoulder the burden of their family, marriage, community, and nation. It is an invitation extended to those who are truly seeking the face of God. It is for those who are ready to submit and surrender all to Christ. He comes, and he comes for all of us. He invites, and he invites all of us. So, let us approach him singing: “I will bless your name for ever, O God my king!
Peace be with you all!
Thanks for your regular rich homilies.
I want to call your attention to the 3rd paragraph of this homily. I think you meant to say… “For God, the importance of each one of us does NOT depend on…”
Thanks Buikem, you are right. That was a typographical error. I have taken care of it. peace be with you.
Fr, Can you explain to me in the simplest way–what does poor in spirit really mean? i seem to confuse it at times with some other aspects in the beatitudes.
thank you Fr.