We live in a time that people are too concerned about themselves, their fame, prestige, status and image. Most of us are so ego driven, self-centered and selfish in our dealings and actions, that it is always about us as we don’t even pay attention to the existence of God and our neighbor. In our First Reading today from the Book of Sirach 3:17-18, 20, 28-29, we are reminded as God’s children to conduct our affairs with humility, and we will be loved more than a giver of gifts. To humble ourselves the more, and we will be greater and find favor with God. Jesus in the gospel reading from the gospel of Saint Luke 14:1, 7-14 warns us of the evil of pride saying that “every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” With these words, Jesus informs us of the importance of humility as well as its rewards and of the evil of pride or self-glorification that leads to humiliation.

What is humility? According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, Humility signifies lowliness or submissiveness and it is derived from the Latin “humilitas” or, as St. Thomas Aquinas says, from “humus”, i.e. the earth which is beneath us, which can be interpreted as being down to earth in our actions. Humility means freedom from pride or arrogance; the quality or state of being humble or a modest or low view of one's own importance.

What does humility entail or what are its characteristics?
Humility emphasizes our Dependence on God by restraining our minds from thinking we are greater than we truly are before God and helping us recognize our own shortcomings and limitations. Humility leads us to know ourselves that is, a self-awareness to find out the truth about ourselves and areas of growth to help us become better disciples of Christ.

Humility points out the importance of love and generosity in our lives as Christians. Hence, service to others that is the greatest form of humility. This is why Jesus calls us in today’s gospel reading to humble ourselves and be generous to the needy, which entails using our gifts for God’s greater glory and in service to our neighbors.

My dear friends in Christ, it is time to conduct our affairs with humility, and we will be greater and find favor with God. So let us learn to be humble by depending more on God through recognizing our own shortcomings and limitations; by knowing more about ourselves through self- awareness and acknowledging our weaknesses and lastly, by showing our love for God in our generosity and service for others.