The Freedom of Humility!

Luke 17:7

“Will any one of you, who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep, say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down at table’?”

Ancients took for granted that they lived in a stratified society. We pretend we don’t, but go on living in one anyway. Jesus appealed to this commonsense reality by pointing out that just as we don’t generally ask the waitress to have a seat and eat dinner with us, so we ourselves should not expect to be made a fuss over simply because we are doing what we are supposed to be doing. So far from this being an insult to our dignity, it is, in fact, an almost comradely embrace. For Jesus himself came not to be served, but to serve and he sets for his disciples the same standards he sets for himself. Just as he exalted the Father above himself, so must we. Just as he took a servant’s place, so must we. Just as he laid down his life, so must we. Such a blow to our pride is not a bad thing, since humility is the beginning of everlasting joy. Today, treat everybody as your superior in Christ Jesus and see how freeing that can be.

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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