The WORD in Other Words by Fr Jonathan Letada SVD (Philippines) for Saturday After Epiphany
John the Baptist‘s greatest virtue is humility. In humility, he accepts who he is and affirms his significant role as precursor to the Messiah. Yes, he has all the opportunity to make a name, and to create a scene for himself so that he will be famous. But he does not do so. Humility is his joy.
Let us learn humility from this illustration: If two goats meet each other in a narrow path above a stream of water what do they do? They cannot turn back and they cannot pass each other, for there is not an inch of spare room. Instinctively, they know if they butt each other, both will fall into the water below and drown. What would they do? Nature has taught one goat to lie down so that the other can pass over its body; as a result, each goat arrives at its destination safe and sound. (Frank Mihalic, SVD, 1000 Stories You Can Use Vol. 2)
Humility is not putting ourselves down and be pitied by others. That is false humility. True humility is magnanimity of heart. It enlarges not our successes and achievements but rather of God‘s grace. It highlights respect and obedience, joyous acceptance of one‘s gifts and love for the poor and the needy.
St. Augustine of Hippo says, “Do you wish to be great? Then, begin from what is slightest. Do you plan to construct a high and mighty edifice? Then think first about the foundation of humility.”