The Son of Man came to serve and not to be served, and to give His life as a ransom for many.
“Learn from me for I am meek and humble of heart”. (from the words of Jesus)
What is humility? The origin of the word comes from the Latin ‘humus’, which means ‘the earth’.
Humility is about being down to earth; it is about being real; it is about not having pretences.
A few days ago, in one of these reflections, I mentioned a quote from the Franciscan, Fr. Richer Rohr, “we spend the first 30 years of our life gaining an ego, and the rest of our lives trying to lose it”.
We live in the heart of the city here in Darwin. People, itinerants and others, often knock on our door looking for a cup of tea or coffee and something to eat.
We share answering the door, living in a community as we do here at the Cathedral presbytery. Sometimes I am the only one home and happen to be doing some gardening. On some of those occasions the doorbell rings a number of times, different people coming to the door. On some of those occasions I get tempted to pretend that I haven’t heard the doorbell, especially when I am covered in soil and other ‘garden stuff’!
I have started telling myself that Jesus is at the door. I have at times to remind myself to be gracious and smile, instead of coming across in my body language saying ‘yes, what do you want I am busy’.
Service is about priorities. How ‘precious’ am I about my time? If my core task is about the mission of Christ, sometimes I need to remember the words of St. Vincent de Paul and leave Jesus for Jesus. Many ‘tasks’ are important, but I must not ‘miss the wood for the trees’!
How attached am I to my plans for the day and my schedules? Of course there are times when I genuinely cannot get that toasted sandwich here and now.
This happened only last Sunday afternoon. I was covered with garden stuff, needed to have a shower before going to Mass. One of our regular visitors was at the gate getting ready to settle there for the evening and the night. He asked for a coffee, etc. I had to say that I could not do it there and then since very shortly I needed to be in church with a crowd of people. He did not mind waiting because he was staying there anyway and was happy to get his supper after Mass. (There is a time for everything!)
Self-talk and reminding ourselves of our priorities is a life-long journey. We never quite get there; we are always getting there! We are a ‘work in progress’. Clarifying priorities never stops!
Last Sunday’s readings reminded me that digesting and reflecting on the words of Jesus, and applying them to everyday life, is about connecting us with God.
As we live our lives, guided by Jesus’ words, we become freer and less cluttered, and able to recognise God within us and in each other more clearly.
God Bless you today.
Bishop of Darwin