Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
(Click here for readings)
Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your belongings and give alms…for where your treasure is, there also will your heart be… Much will be required of the person entrusted with much.”
As a child, I loved watching reruns of two shows: “The Honeymooners” and “The Lone Ranger.” I didn’t particularly care for any episode, but what I loved most about them were their endings. They always ended the same way.
In “The Honeymooners”, almost every episode would end with “Ralph Kramden” (Jackie Gleason) embracing his wife, ”Alice Kramden” (Audrey Meadows) and saying: “Baby, you’re the greatest.”
I found this scene to be so heartwarming. As a child, I knew a lot of people who were arrogant, prideful and obnoxious. But I had never met anyone who could also be humble and honest. It was so refreshing to visualize someone like that. I never thought it was possible.
In the “Lone Ranger” (the show, not the movie!!!), I found it strange – maybe even a bit bizarre – how someone so heroic, so talented and so incredible could also be so humble. He would always leave before anyone noticed. He would always leave before anyone could thank him. I had never met anyone like that before. [Note: this was long before I rediscovered my faith.]
Isn’t God very much like this?
For the first time in my life I discovered the virtue of humility. I loved it. I admired it. I sought it. And never in a million years did I think it would be so difficult to embrace it.
“Baby, your the greatest!”
Who then is the faithful and prudent servant? The humble one, of course. He is the faithful servant.
There is a direct correlation between faith and humility. They are proportional to one another. From my own experience and observations, I can confidently say that the more humble someone is, the more faith-filled they are. The less humble someone is, the less faith-filled they are.
Abraham was a man filled with great humility and faith. As St. Paul tells us:
“By faith, Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; he went out, not knowing where he was to go.
“By faith he sojourned in the promise land as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents…
“By faith he received power to generate, even though he was past the normal age – and Sarah herself was sterile…
By faith he believed that he would become the father of a multitude “as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sands on the seashore.”
“By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac…his only son.” (Heb. 11:1-2, 8-19).
This is the real power of faith. It gives a man/woman the ability to see beyond their sight; to see beyond what eye can see.
Faith can lead us to where we never imagined going and to what we never imagined seeing. Abraham is the father of all Jews, Christians and Muslims. He is the father of nearly four billion people.
It’s time to start counting the stars!
Do not be afraid any longer. Humility requires tremendous courage, for meekness is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign of faith, for Christ encourages people to let go of their fears and let loose their lives.
The Saints are a wonderful example of this truth. Their lives – their struggles, difficulties, missions and achievements – give witness to what God can do with the not-so-rich-and-famous…or even talented.
Lord, increase my faith! If we truly wish to have more faith, then we must stop being as prideful as we are and start being as humble as Christ is. We must strive to live according to God’s Commands and according to the teachings of His Church.
Let’s see what happens next.
It might take us where we never imagined going, to what we never imagined seeing, and to being who we never imagined being.
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