We have the blessing of babies in our midst (most recently, Daniel Vish and Carter Harris) and of little children who play and giggle during our time of fellowship following our main service (the 10:00 AM Mass). Jesus has more than an eye on them. And, Jesus makes wonderful use of them to speak to us-in many ways. Indeed, Jesus presents them as models for our relationship with Him. But, what is it about them that it behooves us to imitate? They are a living metaphor for what exactly regarding the spiritual life? There is something about them that disposes them-and us, when we imitate them-to receiving the secrets of God.
In this Sunday's gospel, we read
At that time Jesus said, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will".
Saint Augustine (+430) asks, "Who are 'infants" but the humble?" Oh, humility.
Saint Hilary (+368) speaks along similar lines in commenting on this passage: "the hidden things of heavenly words and their power are...hid from the wise because of their presumption of their own wisdom, not because of their wisdom".
Humility of heart is the key to intimacy with God, to being friends of Jesus. A humble heart is a heart that is open and receptive, and thus a heart into which Jesus can deposit the secrets of divine love. "I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father".(John 15:15)
A humble heart-which does not preclude being strong-is ultimately the work of the Holy Spirit in us. Indeed, humility is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, per St. Paul (Galatians 5:23). We must ask for humility. True humility can only lead to greater love. Such is why C.S. Lewis declares: "True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less."
The love to which humility leads is the same love that binds us to one another as Sisters and Brothers in Christ. Hence the words of St. Peter (I Peter 5:5-6): "all of you must clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for 'God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.' Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time."
From the desk of the Rector