In Greek, the word humility is derived from an adjective that means to “be short.”
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The Gospel for this Sunday is here.
Gilbert K. Chesterton, British theologian, philosopher, and author, once observed: Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking about yourself less. These words are a fitting commentary for today’s verses of the Gospel.
2. Key words
For every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.
In the Greek language, the word “humility” (tapeinofrosyne) is derived from the adjective tapeinos, which means to “be short.” Greeks saw humility as a weakness.
Scripture shows humility as an attribute of God. Jesus and His disciples are a perfect example: “Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart (tapeinos te kardia), and you will find rest for your souls,” urges Jesus in the Gospel according to Matthew.
“Humility is not a virtue of the weak but of the strong who don’t have to treat others badly to feel important,” indicates Pope Francis.
The Holy Bible contains a number of verses where God praises those who are humble.
In today’s first reading from Sirach we hear words which are similar to those from the Gospel: “Humble yourself the more, the greater you are, and you will find favour with God.”
In the famous Magnificat the Blessed Virgin Mary says that God has put down the mighty from their thrones and has exalted the humble and meek.
In addition, in the Letter of James we read: “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.”
God always honours His promises. Suffice it to look at the life stories of humble people who became great and continue to illustrate to this day that God exalts the humble: Moses, David, the Apostles, Mary, and many others, even in our time.
Pride makes you blind, my grandmother used to say. She was right. Pride indeed makes you blind to matters of heaven and of many places on earth, too.