Today's Gospel: John 1:19-28 - Memorial of Sts. Basil the Great & Gregory Nazianzen A couple of years ago I read Rafael Cardinal Merry de Val’s Litany of Humility for the first time. Lines like, “From the desire of being honored, Deliver me, Jesus” and “That others may be esteemed more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it” stood out to me. The prayer as a whole deepened my understanding of humility. It provided me a framework to examine past and present actions, making it evident that there was a lot of room for growth. In today’s Gospel, I love that St. John the Baptist models humility. When they ask him who he is, he could have responded with arrogance and a desire for them to recognize the special role he had to play. Instead, he first points out who he is not, before explaining his role within the context of the bigger picture, emphasizing how he pointed toward someone greater. When they asked him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ or Elijah or the Prophet?” rather than taking offense, humility allowed him to respond matter-of-factly. He once again honored the role he played within the overall plan. Like John the Baptist, we can embrace whatever role God is asking us to play in the overall narrative of humankind. We can recognize that we each have a special call and invitation to do great work for God, while remaining humble and recognizing that we are only instruments. Humility provides us the freedom to love and serve with joy, rather than being trapped in a state of competition and comparison.


As you discern God’s will for your life, what helps you to respond with humility, rather than pride?


Loving Lord, help me to be humble like John the Baptist. Grant me the grace to be comfortable with whatever You are calling me to do, no matter how significant or insignificant it may appear in the eyes of others who question me.
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