75 “Christ the Lord, in whom the entire Revelation of the most high God is summed up, commanded the apostles to preach the Gospel, which had been promised beforehand by the prophets, and which he fulfilled in his own person and promulgated with his own lips. In preaching the Gospel, they were to communicate the gifts of God to all men. This Gospel was to be the source of all saving truth and moral discipline.”
In the apostolic preaching. . .
“For greater things you were born.” (Ven. Mother Luisita)
SUNDAY AUGUST 15TH Mt. 15:21-28 Then Jesus said, “O woman, great is your faith!”
Part One: Reflection on Gospel Reading
Part Two: Humility through the Path of Humiliations by Fr. Ed Broom, OMV
- This is today’s question for meditation: Can faith exist without humility?
- Jesus acknowledges the woman’s great faith. But He tests her humility, “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” Her reply? “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.”
- Don’t we say similar words before we eat from the table of the Lord: “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” Our humility confirms our faith in His Real Presence in the Eucharist.
- Jesus gives us this parable about faith and humility. (Lk. 18: 10-14) … “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’’ Jesus responds: “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
- The tax collector had faith in God and His Mercy! The Pharisee had faith in himself! The Pharisee spoke a half-truth; and a half-truth is a half-lie. He did good but he failed to give God the credit for the good he did, and he failed to accept blame for the evil he did – his faults, failings, and sins.
- Have we ever been guilty of this? Taking credit for the good we do and forgetting about the evil that we do? The only thing we have that is our own is our sins. Everything else comes from the grace and goodness of God!
- Jesus and Mary are perfect examples and models of humility. Their humility is manifested in obedience to the Will of God. Jesus is God, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity: “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death– even death on a cross!” (Phil. 2:8) Mary said, “Behold the Handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto to me according to thy word.” (Lk. 1:38)
- Paul exhorts us. (Phil. 2: 1,3) “Therefore, if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion… Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
- That being said, Fr. Ed says the road to humility is through humiliations! To help us in our sincere desire to slay the root of all evil – pride, let us pray his meditation.
HUMILITY THROUGH THE PATH OF HUMILIATIONS by Fr. Ed Broom, OMV
Humility indeed is a very difficult virtue for all of us to practice. However, it is essential for us to grow in holiness. A humble person recognizes that all the good he can do comes from God, but all of the evil he has done is his own choice and his own doing. Saint Teresa of Avila says that humility is the truth.
ROYAL PATHWAY TO HUMILITY. Although it be exceedingly painful, the royal and most efficacious path for us to grow in humility is through the pathway of humiliations. However, it must be highlighted, humiliations that are accepted as the part of God’s Divine Providential plan. In other words, humiliations not accepted in the light of God’s Divine Providential plan can actually make us more proud, arrogant, and even bitter. Humiliations can make us either better or bitter!
CALL TO SANCTIFY OUR SUFFERINGS. Undoubtedly humiliations can cause very intense pain in the depths of our soul. The key is to humbly recognize that humiliations will definitely come our way, and maybe even sooner than we are aware, and that we should strive to recognize them as sent by God and to accept them.
SUFFERINGS AND HUMILIATIONS WASTED! It is all too common that all too many people, even those who call themselves believers in Christ, waste their sufferings, do not take advantage of the sufferings and humiliations that God sends them. Thus, these graces are wasted!
A GREAT EXAMPLE IN JESUS, THE SUFFERING SERVANT OF YAHWEH. In all the aspects and circumstances of our lives Jesus is our supreme and sublime example. He Himself said: I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. (Jn. 14: 6) To help us to understand humiliations and how to react, Jesus always is our best example! This is true most especially in His Passion and death.
ONE EXAMPLE FOR OUR INSTRUCTION: CROWNING WITH THORNS! One of the most enlightening examples in the Passion and death of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was when He suffered the crowing with thorns. This humiliating event was prophesied by the great Prophet Isaiah in these words: “He was like a lamb led to the slaughter and He did not even open up His mouth. By His wounds we are healed. (Is 53: 7) For our edification, instruction, and motivation, let us unravel, step by step, the excruciating pains, sufferings, and humiliations that Jesus willingly accepted in His crowning with thorns.
HUMILIATIONS IN THE CROWNING OF JESUS WITH THORNS
1. BOUND AND DRAGGED. After being brutally scourged at the pillar, in which Jesus lost huge quantities of blood, He was bound and dragged to a little room, very much like a prison cell. He who came to set captives free allowed Himself to be a captive and even a slave of the whims, insults, and mockeries of men.
2. THE KING’S THRONE. Jesus was, is, and always will be the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings. Despite His Kingly royalty, He was dragged into this little chamber where He was forced to sit on a huge and uncomfortable stone. Blessed Catherine Emmerich stated that pieces of sharp glass were embedded in the huge stone, of course causing even more intense pain as Jesus sat and unwillingly underwent a night of tortures and humiliations.
3. SMACKED IN THE FACE. The torturers smacked Jesus in His Sacred Face. His face became like flint, as the Prophet Isaiah reminds us. Of course this would have resulted in bruising and bleeding.
4.PUNCHED. Above and beyond the smacking, add the fierce and violent blows to His Sacred Face. Jesus remained silent like a lamb led to the slaughter.
5. PLUCKED HIS BEARD. Once again, the Prophet Isaiah reminds us that these cruel men grabbed onto and plucked His beard. We all can imagine how much pain this caused Jesus, but He willingly suffered this great humiliation!
6.THE CROWNING WITH THORNS. One of the torturers had an insidious and diabolical idea: given that Jesus was proclaimed King, why not give Him a crown??? Not a royal crown made of gold, but a derisive, mocking, insulting crown made of thorns.
7. WEAVING AND CROWNING. Therefore, thorns were taken from nearby thorn-bushes and woven into a crown. The crown resembled the form of a crown, but was actually a crown of sharp and cruel thorns.
8. THE PAINFUL CROWNING. Then the painful and humiliating mock-ceremony took place. Insulting Jesus and with the utmost cruelty, the torturers pressed the crown of thorns onto the Sacred Head and Brow of Jesus. In the film of Gibson, The Passion of the Christ, Jesus was insultingly proclaimed: Hail, King of the worms! In all of this Jesus, the gentle Lamb of God being led to the slaughter, remained silent.
9. PRECIOUS BLOOD ISSUED FORTH. With sharp and penetrating thorns arriving deep in the skull of Jesus, His Blood issued forth with huge drops dripping to the ground. Amidst this torture, the men that surrounded Jesus ridiculed and mocked Him. The words that ushered forth from their mouths caused as much pain as the thorns that pierced His Sacred Brow.
10. BOWING DOWN AND GENUFLECTING. Mocking Jesus as King, the torturers now took their turns to bow to Him and to genuflect to Him as the Mock-King. In all of this, Jesus willingly accepted these humiliations as the will of the Eternal Father, done for love of us and for our salvation.
11. THE STICK IN FORM OF A SCEPTER. Then, once again humiliating Jesus as a mock-king, they found a stick and struck Jesus over the head with the stick, then placed it in His hands. This is the way they treated The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
12. SPAT IN HIS SACRED FACE. To intensify His suffering and humiliations, the torturers proceeded with one of the most humiliating actions that can be done to a human person—they proceeded to spit in His Face.
13. BLINDFOLDED JESUS. The mockery continued with renewed insults and blows; now it was time to find a cloth and cover Jesus’ eyes, thereby blinding Him. He who gave sight to the blind and is the Light of the world was Himself made blind. Insults, mockeries, and deprecations descended upon Him as they continued to strike His Sacred Face, but now He could not see the blows coming. Yet in all this, Jesus was silent!
14. PUNCHES, SLAPS, BLOWS, AND SPITS—Still more do they punch Jesus, strike Him on the Face, spit on Him, pull at His beard, and make sport of Him.
15. EXTENSION OF TIME. These humiliations, and there were many more, went on the whole night—Holy Thursday into Good Friday morning. Long, cruel, and tortuous hours: all accepted for love of you and me, and to teach us the superb lesson of humility!
In conclusion, for us to grow in the virtue of humility, the royal path is through humiliations. None of us will suffer the intensity and atrocity of the humiliations that Jesus went through for us. However, when we are visited by any form, type, size or color of humiliation, do not waste it! Rather think of the sufferings and tortures that Jesus underwent for your salvation, and unite your sufferings to His for your conversion, your sanctification, and for the salvation of the whole world! For the sake of His sorrowful and humiliating passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!
Copyright 2020 Oblates of the Virgin Mary
St. Peter Chanel Church, Hawaiian Gardens, CA