Bro. Ian Granada
Today, as we approach steadily towards Christmas, the readings this Sunday reminds me of the virtue St. John Eudes gives importance in the Christian life. Humility. For some, the mother of all virtues are love. Like St. Paul who wrote famously in his first letter to the Corinthians, love or charity is the hinge wherein the grace of God enters and lives out in a Christian. Indeed. This week let us for a while entertain the virtue of humility and how it can be a good starting point of Christian life as St. John Eudes proposes.
If you truly and fully intend to live in a Christian and holy manner, one of your foremost endeavors ought to be to gain a thorough and conscious mastery of Christian humility, which is the most necessary and important virtue.
For the true measure of sanctity is humility.
(Kingdom of Jesus, 39.)
The readings this second Sunday of Advent is full of images and metaphors of how God works in the history of salvation. The reading from the prophet Baruch speaks of joy and hope. A joy that gives hope because God is present in the history of His people. Despite being exiled and dispersed outside their country, God will make a way to make them come home again. Such a wonderful work of God. How can the people see this hope? This hope is only possible when we put our trust in the steadfast love of God who reveals the saving action of power and love! This involves a certain humility that Israel needs God and God alone. Left to ourselves, we follow our heart’s desires but in the harm’s way of our brothers and sisters. Thus, the hope that springs from acknowledging God’s power is a grace we need to remember in the history of salvation.
The second reading, a testimony of Paul’s affection to the Christians of Philippi and the same love the church of Philippi has for Paul, is a story of humility that leads to love and service. The hardships Paul endured did not made him proud of his accomplishments. Nor the help the Christians provide did not made them puffed up as well. It is the love of God manifested in Jesus Christ that animated them and filled their humility that they feel complete and ready to serve. Lastly, the Gospel of Luke presents to us this perennial bearer of God’s spirit, John the Baptist, in the limelight of our preparation to Christmas. John the Baptist in his own little way, showed us the value of humility in preparing the way of the Lord.
God’s work is already happening in every moment and beat of our hearts. This is the Kingdom of God working actively, devotedly, and untiringly towards the second coming of Christ. I believe that is the story of Christmas, that is the meaning of the Incarnation.
In order to embrace wholeheartedly this incarnation of the Son of God, we need to be like the prophet Baruch who sees the work of God happening here and now; we need to be St. Paul and the Christians of Philippi who humbled themselves because they have witnessed the Gospel in each other’s life, and lastly in the life of John the Baptist, who bear witness and humbled himself in the very presence of the Son of God. Perhaps, the word conversion means to be humble and welcome God’s grace and let it work in our lives.
This Advent season let us recollect the many graces and gifts we received this year. Are we aware of these gifts? Can we see God’s work happening and unfolding in our lives and in other people? Do we welcome it? Or are we afraid?
Lord Jesus, help us to prepare for you a humble and contrite heart. We beg you the grace of conversion, that this Advent season, my our hearts be empty of sin and only desire you and your divine Will. Amen.