how to make humble pie
"Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, but whoever humbles himself shall be exalted." —Matthew 23:12
Jesus criticized some religious leaders for being proud. Pride was the reason for some of them being spiritually blind, fools, and hypocrites (see Mt 23:13, 17). Therefore, Jesus called them to humble themselves, and He calls us to do the same (Mt 23:12). Jesus "humbled Himself, obediently accepting even death, death on a cross!" (Phil 2:8) Jesus, gentle and humble of heart, wants to make our hearts like His (Mt 11:29). He wants "a people humble and lowly" (Zep 3:12). The Lord commands us: "In your relations with one another, clothe yourselves with humility, because God 'is stern with the arrogant but to the humble He shows kindness.' Bow humbly under God's mighty hand, so that in due time He may lift you high" (1 Pt 5:5-6).
To clothe ourselves in humility, we should:
- carry our daily crosses (Lk 9:23),
- choose the lowest place (Lk 14:10),
- bend our knees and lives at the name of Jesus (see Phil 2:10),
- repent and confess our sins to one another, especially in the Sacrament of Reconciliation (see Jas 5:16),
- tremble as we read God's word (Is 66:2),
- forgive and apologize,
- be "quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger" (Jas 1:19),
- be submissive to others (Eph 5:21), and
- come to serve (Mt 20:28).
In His Church and its word, especially in the Bible, the Lord has given us many more ways to humble ourselves. Look for them and do them. Clothe yourself in humility.
Prayer: Father, You have given me the command and the grace to be humble. I choose humility.
Promise: "Blessed are you who fear the Lord, who walk in His ways!" —Ps 128:1, our transl.
Praise: If you received your first Communion as a child, give praise to God today for the decision of Pope St. Pius X a century ago to include you. "Jesus said, 'Let the children come to Me' " (Mt 19:14).
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 22, 1999
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 24, 1999