March 21, 2020
by Kimberly Grassmeyer
Creighton University's Interdisciplinary Leadership Program
click here for photo and information about the writer

Saturday of the Third Week of Lent
Lectionary: 242

Hosea 6:1-6
Psalms 51:3-4, 18-19, 20-21ab
Luke 18:9-14

Praying Lent Home

Remembering the Ashes

The Midpoint of Lent

Today’s Gospel Lesson from Luke gave me pause.  If I desire to be a person of true humility before God, I can close my eyes and put myself into memories of such grace.  But in trying to describe these moments in words, I fall short, and wonder if trying to speak the humility turns the expression into self-exaltation!  “Look at me – I’ve humbled myself a few times along the way – aren’t I special?”  In Jesus’ parable, he explains: “for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

I’m not sure I have the capacity to be a person of humility all the time, or even most of the time.  It’s easy to blame the hubris of being among a more fortunate economic class, or the consumerism or hedonism or any other of the -isms that are too prevalent in our world. But the truth runs much deeper than those excuses.  So I pray and wonder...  Does trying to be a person of humility count?  Does living out what my grandmother taught me so well count: that I am special in God’s eyes, but no more special than any of my loud, crazy cousins and certainly no more so than any other child of God?  Am I humble when I serve, or accept the help of others, or break bread with a family of very modest means – so much so that guilt creeps even as I’m humbled by their generosity?  Do I practice Magis (the more)?  Have I truly turned myself over to God?

Perhaps you, too, have seen the face of God in a chance encounter that called you (us) to nearly drop to your knees in gratitude.  Perhaps you, too, have wondered at the many, many blessings you enjoy, knowing that your (our) sins, if matched line-by-line, would cause the balance sheet to tip toward the measure of ‘unworthy.’  Perhaps you, too, have felt shame for the moments that you (we) exalted, through words or deeds, self above other.  If yes, then we are a pretty huge amalgamation of like-hearted souls. 

So let us together, this Lenten season, endeavor to behave less often like the Pharisee who was self-aggrandizing, and more often like the tax collector, justified and exalted because of his acts of humility at the Temple.  Thanks be to God! 

Click on the link below to send an e-mail response
to the writer of this reflection.

Sharing this reflection with others by Email, on Facebook or Twitter:

Email this pageFacebookTwitter

Print Friendly

See all the Resources we offer on our Online Ministries Home Page

Daily Reflection Home

Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook