What does humility mean?

Reflection for the First Sunday of Advent by FAN Supporter and former Board Member Sr. Maryann Mueller, CSSF

This reflection was originally posted in our November 21st newsletter


Image by John Hain from Pixabay

This Sunday is the First Sunday in Advent, when we begin preparation for one of the most significant examples of the humility of God modeled in the birth of Jesus, who took on the flesh of creatures and gave His “flesh for the life of the world” (Jn. 6: 51). Thomas of Celano, the first biographer of Saint Francis, wrote that for Francis, God “delights to be with the simple and those rejected by the world.”  

Humility (or minority as in the Order of Friars Minor) is one of the four values that characterize Franciscan communities and ministries; it is one way Franciscans and Franciscan-hearted people attempt to be “instructed in his ways and walk in his paths” (Is 2:3). It is only with humility that we can “walk in the light of the Lord” (Is 2:5). Franciscan Theologian Ilia Delia, in her book The Humility of God: A Perspective, writes that through our Franciscan lens, “we see that the humility of God tells us something not only of God but our lives as well.”   

What does living with humility mean for us today? It might mean admitting we might not see the whole picture (as God sees it), so we must be open to seeing through new lenses. It might mean being silent and trying to understand another’s perspective, especially if it is the polar opposite of our own. To transform society, to bring about the Kingdom of God in the world, we need to be open each day to a transformative way of being in the world, which is only realized with humility. Only when we are prayerfully open to our individual transformation can we work effectively to transform unjust structures and societies. It is only with humility that people see our common humanity and that we are all human beings made in the image of a child born in Bethlehem.

Sr. Maryann Mueller, CSSF

FAN Supporter and former Board Member

Published in: on November 22, 2022 at 10:30 am  Leave a Comment  

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