YEAR B: HOMILY/REFLECTION FOR THE 25TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
THEME: THE COMMON HUMBLE BEGINNING OF EVERYONE
BY: Fr. Christian Eze
First reading – Wisdom 2:12-. 17-20 Second reading – Jms. 3:16-4:3 Gospel – Mk. 9:30-37
Jesus speaks of humility to his disciples. He uses the example of a little child. Yes every human being began humbly like a child- dependent, helpless, possessing nothing, having no enemy. This is interesting. Our humble beginning when reflected upon calls for a life of humility as we grow up. Humility is an important virtue in human life. A common expression which we hear when people brag is “do you know who I am?” It is important now to give an answer to this very question. Yes, the mortal man is nothing but mere dust. We must recall that God fashioned man out of dust – cf Gen. 2:7. And after the man had sinned by the same act of pride, God reminded him this fact of where he came from, what he is and to where he must return “…you return to the soil, as you were taken from it. For dust you are and to dust you shall return” Gen. 3:19.
Once every year – Ash Wednesday, the Catholic Church reminds us this (when we receive the ash on our foreheads) and calls on us to humble ourselves before God. Humility is the very essence of man. There is a strong link between the words “humus” (the commonest type of soil), “human”, (the human being), and “humility” (an act of humbling ourselves). The human being was created from humus (soil), and is called to be humble. Little wonder then, why a very humble man is figuratively said to be “down to earth”.
To swell ourselves in pride means to forget the very humble beginning that is common to every human being no matter who you are or what you are. To brag as if you are what you are by your own powers is like one forgetting his or her home. Attend a burial ceremony today; watch the corps as it lies in state. It is a wondrous act of returning to its humble state. Does the corps still say “a whole me” or ask “do you know who I am”? In Psalm 49:9, we are reminded that no matter what anybody does, no one can avoid coming to the pit of dust – the grave. When we remember that one day, this disintegration would take place; our body returns to its humble state – dust to dust, and the soul returns back to God its giver, we would certainly learn to live well. St Paul admonishes us, he who must boast, let him/ her boast in the Lord (I Cor. 1:31). What is it that makes you proud? Humble yourself before the Lord and He will lift up again.