Wellspring of the Gospel


Year A: 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 First Reading: Zephaniah 2: 3; 3: 12-13

The link between the Gospel and First Reading is fairly easy to spot - the presence in the world of people of integrity and humility. These are people whom God promises to protect on the day of His anger - who will find peaceful places in which to live where they will not be disturbed - living as they do, under God’s protection.

Many people would like to lay claim to integrity - it is a quality that ensures that people can trust us and respect us. They know that we will act honourably - and not always put our own interests first.

Integrity speaks of everything fitting together - we speak of people being “really together” - and seeing this as something that speaks well of them.

We are less quick to claim the quality of humility - and would be very wary who we called a humble person. Somehow, humility is seen as making you less of a person - someone who is humble is, perhaps, someone who has not quite made it.

And yet, the prophet Zephaniah says in the same breath: seek integrity - seek humility.

What he has discerned is that the two go hand-in-hand. Someone of integrity is also someone who knows that there is something bigger than themselves out there. They see a bigger picture - and know that they are not at the centre of it.

This draws out the quality of humility - the awareness that you are not the centre of the universe means that you see yourself in proportion.

This can be liberating!

No longer do you have to prove that you are something you are not - you can simply be you - and, for the Christian, it gets better - because God loves you more for being you than for being the person you think will impress Him.

In one of the many paradoxes in Christian life - humility leads to pride - of the wholesome variety. I am loved as I am by the One who created me.

What does it mean for me?

Waterlily What is your attitude to humility? Are there situations where it is hard - perhaps even inappropriate - to be humble?

What about the combination of humility and integrity? How might that set us apart from others?

Text © 2007 Wellspring

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