“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 today’s Gospel passage, 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 evangelisation with joy because even the demons were subject to them.
If Jesus referred to the disciples as infants, who are the “wise” in this context? Those who were challenging Jesus and looking for an opportunity to catch Him with tricky questions. Jesus’ opponents were wise by human standards, but this “wisdom” prevented them from knowing certain truths.
Pride makes us think we know everything. It prevents us from learning anything new. Like a cup full of water, we can’t take any more water. As a result of pride, we find ourselves arguing with everyone and challenging them in every instance. What makes pride dangerous is that it is an invisible vice. I can never see my pride. In other words, I need others to tell me whether or not I am proud and when they do, I consider it an insult.
During 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).
In today’s first reading, the prophet Isaiah speaks of the time that shall come when the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, 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.
An African proverb says if a child washes his hands very well, he can eat with the elders. In other words, if we are humble, regardless of our size and status, we will be granted access to high places. Humility will put people under us like the child leading the lion, the leopard, the wolf, and the lamb.
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 stood still for this baby, this little child born to change the entire course of history.
Bible Study: Isaiah 11:1-10, Ps. 72:1-2,7-8,12-13,17, Luke 10:21-24).*
@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu