St. Michael's Parish - Cobourg

Faith and Humility

Faith and Humility                                                                       -Homily September 25, 2016

 

“‘No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ Abraham said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead’” (Luke 16:30-31).

 

Miracles are not enough in order to believe. Miracles are important: as St. Paul says “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (1 Corinthians 15:14). But miracles do not produce faith. Faith requires humility. If we are not humble, even if we see miracles with our own eyes, we will not believe. Many people saw the miracles of Jesus, and some of them accused him and killed him. The fact that we witness a miracle does not prevent us from betraying our Lord. But how is that possible?

 

Humility is not to know the truth, but to accept it. We all know we are weak, but some people try to hide their weakness. Some people do not want to accept that they cannot be happy by themselves, and that they need other people to support them. They want to be self-sufficient, and they want other people to think that they are, that they don’t need anyone, that they have “the power.” Sometimes we risk thinking that we are always right. It is not that we think we are God, we know that we can make mistakes; but in fact, we do not want anyone to correct us, we do not want to be told how things are or what we should do. We know “how it is”; we know “what we have to do”; we don’t need input. We are not open to receive the truth from someone else.

 

You see how it works? We know the truth: we are not God. But sometimes we do not want to accept this truth, we do not want to live as if we were not God, we do not want to accept what God says when it conflicts with our own views. “I know that he is God, I know he knows more than me, I know I should do what he says, but – the sinner says – I do not want to accept it.” The person who does not believe is not necessarily a person who thinks that God does not exist. Neither are we talking about the person who does not believe because they did not hear the message. We are talking here about the person who does not want to accept what God says, the person who does not want to be told what to think and does not want to be told what to do. That person may very well know that God exists, and may very well know that God has said this and that, but he does not want to accept it. He prefers to be his own rule, and not to receive his rule from someone else.

 

This lack of faith comes from pride. Pride is the immoderate love of ourselves, of our own views, of our own desires. It is the love of our own views and desires, not because they are right or good, but because they are our own. Pride closes ourselves to the other, and it blinds us to know ourselves, to know our limits, our weakness and our mistakes. It makes us unable to see that the other person may have a point, that we could learn from other people, and mainly from God.

 

A miracle obliges you to see that God is there doing something. But you are still free to submit to what God says and wants from you. It is foolish not to submit to God… but we human beings can do that. It is instead wise to submit to God, once we know that God has spoken. Why is it wise?

 

First of all, because God is God, and he knows everything. He created the world, he created us, and that is why he cannot ignore anything about himself, about the world, or about our happiness. He is the only one who can tell us “what must we do to inherit eternal life” (cf. Luke 18:18). He is the only one “who has words of eternal life” (cf. John 6:68). Everybody else can ignore things, but not God. Secondly, because God is good. A person who knows things can deceive us or hide the truth from us because of a personal interest, or something he may obtain from us by doing that. God does not need anything from us. God wants to give us eternal life; he wants “everybody to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). God cannot deceive. That is why it is wise to believe the Lord: he cannot deceive, nor be deceived. God is good, God is all knowing, God loves us.

 

To believe is wise because it implies that we know ourselves: we know our own ignorance and limitations, and we humbly accept them. To believe is wise because it implies that we know God: we know that he exists, we know that he has spoken, and we know that he is wise and he would never deceive us. Let us be wise! Let us not be deceived by pride!

 

The proud person is “the king of the universe”, but his universe is as great as his own little brain. The humble one is the owner of the Heart of God, who is always won over by the prayer of the humble.  –Fr. Andrew

 

 

 

The below post card came in just last week….it was mailed by our youth who were away at WYD16 in Poland at the time.