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Our Lord is “the great humiliated.” And we want to be different?

Zwiebackesser | Shutterstock

Pope Francis says humility is an absolute necessity, but humility without humiliation isn't humility.

Each Christian is a little sprout that must grow to the fullness of the Holy Spirit in us, says Pope Francis. But to enable that growth, we need to be humble. And for growing in humility, the pope proposed a bitter medicine: We have to be humiliated, just as Our Lord was.

The pope said this during his morning homily today at Casa Santa Marta, drawing from the First Reading, from the Book of Isaish, which says, “A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse,” and goes on to list the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Our task, the pontiff said, is to safeguard this sprout, this growth which is the Spirit.

The Holy Father said this is done by adopting a lifestyle that resembles Christ’s, which is the path of humility.

The pope then explained that being humble does not mean being polite and courteous, or closing one’s eyes in prayer.

Being humble means being able to accept humiliations. “Humility without humiliation,” he stressed, “ is not humility.”

A humble man or a woman is one who is able to endure humiliations like Jesus, whom the pope described as “the great humiliated.”

Pope Francis went on to recall the example of many saints “who not only accepted humiliations but asked for them” in order to resemble Jesus.  The pope concluded his homily urging that the Lord “grant us this grace to safeguard this smallness toward the fullness of the Spirit without forgetting the root and by accepting humiliation.”

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