The Lord created human beings out of earth,
and makes them return to it again.
He gave them a fixed number of days,
but granted them authority over everything on the earth.
He endowed them with strength like his own,
and made them in his own image.
He put the fear of them in all living beings,
and gave them dominion over beasts and birds.
Discretion and tongue and eyes,
ears and a mind for thinking he gave them.
He filled them with knowledge and understanding,
and showed them good and evil.
He put the fear of him into their hearts
to show them the majesty of his works.
And they will praise his holy name,
to proclaim the grandeur of his works.
He bestowed knowledge upon them,
and allotted to them the law of life.
He established with them an eternal covenant,
and revealed to them his decrees.
Their eyes saw his glorious majesty,
and their ears heard the glory of his voice.
He said to them, “Beware of all evil.”
And he gave commandment to each of them concerning the neighbor.
Their ways are always known to him;
they will not be hid from his eyes.
Psalm 103: 13-18
As a father has compassion for his children,
so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.
For he knows how we were made;
he remembers that we are dust.
As for mortals, their days are like grass;
they flourish like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.
People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.
Many times when someone thinks of humility, they make the mistake of thinking that means being down on oneself or diminishing one’s worth, abilities, or accomplishments. Humility, though, is recognizing the truth. It is not humble to deny one’s own characteristics be they positive or negative. In the same way, it is not humble to think one’s abilities, talents, etc. are all one’s own making.
In the first reading today, we see an account of what it means to be a human. Humans are created by God, will one day die, have authority over everything on earth, posses strength, discretion, eyes, ears, knowledge of good and evil. The list goes on. God made human beings in His own image and gave them dominion over the earth. Human beings are certainly a privileged creation. After reading such an account, one cannot help but see how good and powerful human beings are. God endowed His creation with many good gifts and power and authority. The scriptures are true that declare, “You have made me little less than a god.”
What are all these wonderful endowments from the creator for? Are they for our own pleasure? We were given eyes to see and marvel at the glory of God’s majesty. We were given ears to hear His voice. We were given knowledge of good and evil to be warned against falling into evil. As marvelous and powerful as human beings are, they are beneath God. They were given commandments by God and are fully known by God. All of our thoughts and ways are known and understood by Him. As powerful as human beings are, they are subject to God’s authority and cannot escape His all-knowing gaze. Furthermore, their days are numbered. They flourish and fall like flowers in a field.
To be humble is to be like the little children Jesus blesses in the gospel. Children are free and fearless in beginning new endeavors. Yet, they rely completely on their parents. They are dependent on the ones in authority over them. Jesus asks us to be like little children and welcome them.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, may I always posses the humility of little children who neither think themselves greater nor less than they are. May I always be aware of your glory and knowledge of my life, my thoughts, and my actions. Help me to give glory to you in all I do. Amen.