I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.” (Luke 10:21)
In our Gospel passage today, we hear Jesus thanking God for hiding certain things from the wise and revealing them to mere infants. On this occasion, Jesus was addressing His disciples who had just returned from the mission of evangelization with joy, because even the demons were subject to them.
If Jesus was referring to the disciples as infants, who then are the “wise” in this context? Those who are so full of themselves who think that they know it all, those who were challenging Jesus and looking for an opportunity to catch Him with some tricky question or another. Literally, Jesus’ opponents were wise by human standards but this wisdom only translated in God hiding certain truths from them.
In the course of this season of Advent, we must continuously ask ourselves: How willing am I to humble myself and come to terms with my nothingness? Am I ready to let go of my pride? Yesterday, we were presented with the example of the Roman Centurion who confessed his unworthiness to have Jesus under his roof. Today, we are again reminded of the importance of humility.
At Christmas, we celebrate a God who humbled Himself to the point of assuming the nature of one of His creatures; man. As St. Paul would say: “Though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:6-8).
Pride is blindness. Yesterday, we noted that humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking big of God. Pride on the other hand is the inability to see and acknowledge God having become blinded by one’s own greatness. Somehow, you begin to think you are God.
The prophet Isaiah in today’s first reading speaks of the time that shall come when the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the lion and the fatling together and a little child shall lead them. What does Isaiah mean by a little child assuming leadership of an unthinkable combination of animals who we know are natural enemies? This is what humility entails.
There is an African proverb that says, if a child washes his hands very well, he would be invited to seat at the table and eat with elders. In other words, if we are humble, regardless of our size and status, we would be granted access to high places. Like the child leading the lion, the leopard, the wolf, and the lamb, humility will put people under us.
This prophecy of Isaiah also points directly to the baby Jesus. As a baby, Jesus could not lift his hand, not to talk of holding a broomstick but Herod and his entire household trembled with fear, kings came from across the world to pay homage to Jesus. Angels sang to the shepherds who kept watch at night. The whole world literally stood still for this baby, this little child who was born to change the entire course of history.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, may I grow in humility. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Bible Study: Isaiah 11:1-10, Ps. 72:1-2,7-8,12-13,17, Luke 10:21-24
© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu