Daily Office Readings for Saturday of Proper 23: Year 2
“My child, perform your tasks with humility; then you will be loved by those whom God accepts. The greater you are, the more you must humble yourself; so you will find favor in the sight of the Lord. For great is the might of the Lord; but by the humble he is glorified.” (Ecclesiasticus 3:17 to 20)
If you look this passage up you will see that there is not a verse 19. My notes say that verse 19 should read “Many are lofty and renowned, but to the humble he reveals his secrets.” So 18 and 20, even without the missing verse 19, are still about humility. In my own practice of humility, which I still fail from time to time, it is about the humility of invisibility. The humility of invisibility is about not insisting on my own presence in the group. We live in a world now where everybody wants to be heard. Fine. But given air time alone does not make one right. Being heard does not mean being believed. The humble way is to wait to be asked to speak.
When the writer says “The greater you are, the more you must humble yourself,” perhaps it works the other way also; that is, “the more you humble yourself, the greater you are.” What do you think? Must we insist on being heard? And if heard, we must realize that what we say may not be valued?
We must perform our tasks with humility. Many of the Mystics that I have learned from were unknown in their own day; Saint John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila to mention two. It is through reading their writings that we are able to go to the deep end of the spiritual pool.
Remember, it is in our humility that God is glorified. “For great is the might of the Lord; but by the humble he is glorified.” And as pointed out, by the missing verse, the humble are blessed with secret wisdom. I don’t know about you, but being gifted with God’s secret knowledge makes being quiet even harder, it makes being humble even harder. I think having such secret knowledge would make me want to run out and share it right away. However, we must listen to the counsel of the Spirit of God in Christ Jesus and learn how to be still and be silent and not to unnecessarily share our thoughts which is the rule of DUST, which is, “Don’t Unnecessarily Share Thoughts.”
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John