Today we begin a new month, the traditional month when schools used to open the day after Labor Day, but no more, most school terms now begin in August. Curious our first scripture text today from Sirach begins “My child, conduct your affairs with humility.” And we can ask what does that mean? The dictionary definition of the virtue is “the quality or state of not thinking you are better than other people.” Humility is often misunderstood to mean not affirming our own gifts and abilities. The authors of Living the Word make this suggestion: Humility based on the spiritual writer’s works means being grounded in reality: our gifts and limitations, our grace and our sin, in light and darkness. When we act with true sincerity and humility we thank God for our gifts, grace and light. We take time to admit to our own limitations and seek forgiveness for our own transgressions and ask for light in our darkness.
True humility points us in a direction of being of service for others, beginning first in our families and then extending that service to others. Aware of our strengths and limitations we then know where we are called to serve others, and those areas best suited to others who have those gifts and talents. How can we serve?
It is a gift to respond to God’s call to be a minister of the Word by bringing the Good News to others. Whether that means proclaiming God’s word as a lector, distributing the very life of the Lord in Eucharist or bringing that gift of Eucharist to one who is sick. Reaching out to our neighbors through the activities of Saint Anthony Outreach, bringing a smile to someone in need and a renewed sense of hope to know that someone else cares. There are many ways that we can use our gifts and talents to better humanity. These are God-given opportunities to make a difference in other people’s lives, not for credit or points, or stars, but humbly aware that we can help others. Grateful the Spirit gives us the very breath of our lives, how can we be that difference to others through our love and care?
Next week you will be asked to sign up for or continue in some ministry in the life of Saint Anthony parish. I believe there is a place for everyone. Please read the ministry descriptions carefully and see where Christ may be calling you to serve and assist or help others.
Father Larry Hendel, Pastor