Daily Office Readings for Wednesday of Week 2 of Advent: Year 2
(Edited and republished from December 11, 2019)
“All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:12)
After pondering on these words of Matthew for a while I get the sense that exaltation is the goal for both, it’s just two different routes to being exalted. While we are kind of led to the latter, that is, to humble ourselves now in order to be exalted later (in the next life), it seems to me that we are being humble for the reward of being exalted. That doesn’t work for me.
I think if I train myself to really get into and be comfortable with humility I will never want or desire exaltation. I’ve always told my congregation that being humble can be a fleeting thing. Once you boast about your humility, it’s gone.
I have had lapses in humility. I played guitar with another guitarist and when he was thanked for coming and playing and I was not I brought it to the attention of the host. Shame on me. It was after that incident that I coined the phrase “the humility of invisibility.” Unfortunately humility was not my comfort zone. But I want it to be. So I have put into practice the words of C.S. Lewis who said, “Humility is not so much about thinking less of yourself, but rather, thinking of yourself less.”
So now I ponder about all the times I was not seen or remembered, while at the same time I was very present, at various events. I am learning to enjoy “the humility of invisibility,” and not so that I might be exalted later, but just for the inherent quiet and unassuming nature of it.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John