Sometimes the only way to grow in humility is to be humiliated. There is nothing like a little humiliation to humble us in a not uncertain manner. This, however, is not the only way to grow in humility. There is a far gentler one – by the way of choice. This may be the case but it seems that the path is not as well followed as it could or should be. More often than not there seems to be a power at work in the human heart that resists the free choice of a humble life and seeks the path of exaltation instead.

It is interesting to note that the saints did not seek to exalt themselves over and above others. If anything they tended to put themselves down and see the worst in themselves and the best in others. This is not an easy path to walk and we have to be careful that we do not fall into a sort of false humility whereby we may look humble from the outside but it is all for show and we are really seeking to draw attention to ourselves with what is a false ‘show’ of humility.

The apostles rejoiced at the honour of the humiliation they suffered at the hands of the Sanhedrin. Why? I think because they realised they were on the right track and had proved to themselves that they were willing to undertake the mission of preaching the Gospel even if it meant hardship and suffering. This is an important step forward for the early Church as it now moves into an era that will last nearly 300 years of off and on persecution and hardship. In retrospect I suppose this should have been expected when we consider the life and ministry of Jesus and what that involved. If Jesus had to suffer, there is little hope that we will not have to suffer something in order to be faithful to the Gospels call in our lives.

As we seek to be faithful preachers of the Gospel 2000 years later, let us seek to move ahead humble\y and in the spirit of those who have preceded us, willing to suffer in our obedience to ensure that all men and women hear the Good News of their salvation.

How can I grow in humility? Am I willing to suffer for the sake of being obedient to God’s will?

Holy Spirit, open my heart to a better understanding of God’s call for me and grant me the humility to respond in complete obedience to every aspect of it.