Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Humility and the Mustard Seed

Today we have a short reading from Luke and a longer, more well known and widely discussed section of Paul's letter to the Ephesians. (5:21-33.) The Luke reading is very short (13:18-21,) two simple paragraphs in which Christ compares the Kingdom to a mustard seed and to yeast. It's all about growth. Paul discusses the relationship of man and woman in marriage.
As I read them today, it came to me that they have a theme in common...humility.

This is easy to see in Paul. Man and woman serve each other in their roles as husband and wife in the Mystical Body of Christ. That's the essence of Christian marriage. It is not about one being greater than the other, or even being equal for that matter. It is about accepting each other for who they are and loving each other as Christ loves you...unconditionally. That's where the humility comes in. Humility is essentially "me second, everyone else first." Isn't that the way Christ loves us on the cross?

So what about the mustard seed? Until the time the tree withers and dies, it continues to grow, to spread it's leaves, produce and give shade. It never reaches a point where it says "There, I'm mature now, I'll coast from here on in." No, the mustard tree will keep on going. This holds true for us who enter the kingdom through baptism. We should not stop growing in the fatih. Sometimes, in my line of work, someone will tell me they know the faith. No, I say, you don't. You know part of it but you don't know it fully. That time has not yet come. Be humble and know that there is always more to learn. Much of it you will learn depending upon your humility toward others, Without the humility, you limit yourself.
The opposite of humility, is, what, pride?

1 comment:

  1. Great post. I love the line, "me second, everyone else first". You are so right, when we think that we 'know the faith' or have God figured out, watch out! We want to put God into a tidy little box, but nothing can contain him. One of the first things that I tell people who want to join the church is that we need to be comfortable with mystery. It is only in humility that we can find peace in that. Thanks for the post....I've been waiting to read more from you.