A Holy Week Reflection by Brian Rogers
Passion Week! Many emotions this week…the lowest of lows at the crucifixion, the highest of highs with Jesus overcoming death. What strikes me as an overriding theme of Passion Week is humility: the humility of Jesus, first to take on human life, and then, with humility, to wash his apostles’ feet, to go through the passion for all of us. Anne spoke eloquently about the nine Fruits of the Spirit. I believe that humility is the gateway, not only to forgive as Jesus did on the cross, but also to every one of the nine Fruits.
Humility opens the door to those Fruits so that they flourish in our lives. The Fruits wither on the vines without humility. It seems that humility is difficult to attain, retain and sustain in our society that values achievement, status and material monuments to self. Focusing on other people with needs greater than ours takes humility. Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Generosity, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control: without humility, can we ever truly have any of these fruits? We are made in the image of God and I’m not more in God’s image than the homeless person or those of different ethnicity, religions, sexual orientation or social status. The height of humility is Jesus dying on the cross…Passion Week for us.
C.S. Lewis notes “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”
Philippians 2:5-8: Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Prayer for Humility
Let me have too deep a sense of humor to be proud.
Let me know my absurdity before I act absurdly.
Let me realize that when I am humble I am most human,
most truthful, and most worthy of your serious consideration.
– Daniel A. Lord, SJ