( Luke 15: 11-32)

We are presented with a shocking scene in today’s Gospel, with the exhausted and humiliated Prodigal son falling to his Father’s feet.   The son came knowing exactly what he would say to him: “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am not worthy to be called your son.  Make me like one of your hired servants” (verse 19).

Thanks to this crushing humiliation, the Prodigal son came to repentance and made the final decision to return to his father’s house, there to live happily ever after in the love of his father, and God the Father.

Let’s try to go deeper into the subject of humility, which is the greatest of all virtues and necessary for the salvation of all of us.

Do we want to be protected from the attacks of the devil?   Let us try to remain humble in our successes, and when we are praised by other people.   The devil does not have the power to hurt the humble man because he is surrounded and protected by the grace of God.   This is what the Apostle James said:  “God to the humble gives His grace” (James 4:6).   Of course, it is possible to be proud of good fortune or some success that others recognize us for.   But the faithful Christian conforms to the words of Paul the Apostle:  “What do you have that you did not receive from God?  Now if you did indeed receive it from God, why do you boast as if you had not received it?” (1 Corinthians 4:7).   Also, our Lord’s words are very helpful in maintaining humility when we feel that we did something important:  “When you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants.  We have done what was our duty to do” (Luke 17:10).

• We want to have continuous communion with God, to enjoy His protection and His benefits both here and in heaven?  Let us try to respond to the wonderful example that our Lord Jesus Christ has left us: “you learn from my example, for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29).

• Do we want to have peaceful and good relations with our fellow human beings?  Consider others to be better than ourselves.     The Apostle Paul, who considered himself to be the worst of all people and the most sinful, gives us a wonderful example in this:  “Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief” he writes to Timothy (1 Timothy 1:15).

The humble person respects the other.   They listen to the opinions of others because they feel they don’t know everything. This person recognizes their mistakes and asks for an apology, even if the other is lower.   They are not outraged when lies are told to their faces.   How many insults and jeers has Christ heard and in all of them the response is this prayer:  “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34).   These words were spoken on the Cross of Calvary.  

Finally, the humble person always keeps calm in their heart and sees others in love.   Thus they always find, with the illumination of God, the right way to peacefully engage the people around them.

My dear brothers and sisters, let us not get carried away by the egotistical spirit of the world, with those who think selfishly that they are better than others and will become great.   Do you not see how unhappy they are?   Let us try to apply the counsel of the Apostle Peter:  “Be clothed with humility.   God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5).


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