Humility is the virtue or grace that seems to be the one that is necessary for the proper development and combining of all the other virtues into a coherent lifestyle. It is also the one thing that is most misunderstood in contemporary society. Humility is often seen as a sign of weakness, however, I consider it to be the truest form of strength and absolutely essential if someone is going to make the best of the gifts and talents that God has given them. This is the case as if we develop our gifts and talents without true humility the end result will be that we think we can exercise them on our own apart from God and this is a recipe for complete and utter disaster!

Jesus reminds the Pharisees in the Gospel that the truly humble person will never assume that they are the most important person at a particular gathering. He or she will always defer to others and take the humblest of places at table. The only place we can go from here is up, whereas if we choose the exalted seat, the only place we can go is down!

In the first reading, Paul reminds us all that we are sinners. Here is the foundation stone of humility. The first thing all Christians must do is to accept the truth that they are sinners and repent. Without this, we will be unable to take the first steps in growing in our talents and gifts. Wee will be powerless for the Kingdom of God because we are unwilling to submit ourselves to the humbling process of repentance and conversion.

Humility is closely allied with the truth. The two go together and one does not develop without a commitment to the other. This is one of the reasons why we will always see that truly humble people are also people who are committed to the truth and are willing to undergo all sorts of humiliations in order to submit their lives to the truths that they believe.

Humility also demands that we be committed to spending our lives ion the service of others. The humble person will allow themselves to be served by others but he or she will also be actively seeking ways and means of serving as well. If you are in a room of humble people it is the least important jobs that will always be done first! This reminds me of an exhortation further on in Paul’s Letter to the Romans where he exhorts us to outdo one another in showing love. I think the same could be said for humility and such an attitude will always be found useful in the Kingdom of God.

Do I tend to seek ways to serve others or do I sit back and wait for others to serve me? How simple and humble is the lifestyle I lead?

Holy Spirit, help me to grow in humility and the desire to serve those I can. Help me to develop my talents and gifts to the full for the sake of the Kingdom of God and never to draw attention to myself.