Meek and Humble of Heart

07-09-2023Pastor's LetterVery Rev. Richard C. Wilson, VF, Pastor

Dear Friends in Christ,

For a Christian, strength is found in weakness. Our teacher is Jesus Christ, and he wants us to learn from Him to be meek and humble of heart. The world may brush the simple aside and call them ignorant, but Jesus’ prayer to his Father teaches us to value the greatness of the little ones among us. God himself chose them to be preachers of His Holy Gospel.

The people of Israel had different expectations for the Messiah, but Jesus simplified the path by his way of doing things. He presents himself as a humble king, a meek king. He strips himself of any aura of greatness; he makes himself small and lives among the forgotten, among those who are hidden from the eyes of the world. The good news of the Gospel was brought to the world by a handful of simple fishermen. They set the world on fire!

The beatitudes announce, “blessed are the poor, the humble, the imprisoned, the sick, the suffering, the weeping.” Throughout the centuries many saints have changed history with their simple approach: Francis of Assisi, called the “poverello” – little poor one; Therese of Lisieux, who proposed “the little way” in her autobiography, The Story of a Soul; Mother Teresa of Calcutta, “the angel of the lepers.” True freedom, true joy, and true beauty are found in the mystery of simple souls. These disciples of Christ were “meek and humble of heart.”

Mother Mary gave us the same example. God chose the simplest of women, the humblest and the purest, to carry out the most critical mission. Mary took her God-given humility and simplicity and made them the absolute measure of all her actions. And so, she became the key to our salvation.

We are transformed when we draw near to Christ with a humble spirit. There was once a mother who, after years and years of terrible physical and moral suffering, suddenly understood that God was calling her to be a good Christian in the simple things, like prayer and the sacraments and Sunday Mass. Now her cross feels more like an “easy yoke.” This woman used to always be angry and frustrated with her children, annoyed by their crying, and wanting her own will in all things. When she understood that she was called to simply be humble and faithful, her cross suddenly weighed less.

If a man is religious, he must also be humble, for as St. Teresa of Avila teaches, “humility is truth.” A proud Christian is a contradiction in terms. The “Magnificat” that Mary sang at the annunciation proclaims the humility of God’s handmaid, and at the same time celebrates the great things that God has done in her. True freedom, true joy, and true beauty are found in the mystery of simple souls.

All the best…in Christ,

Father Wilson