Just the humble find the key to true success for their lives and have open before them the gates of eternal happiness.
Newsdesk (12/11/2022 1:31 PM, Gaudium Press) The teachings of the Divine Master, in words and gestures, indicate to us the path of innocence and humility as the privileged way to reach the Celestial Paradise. However, to become like children, to be in everything unpretentious and servile, may seem a simple and easy ideal, but it is not.
Pride is so powerful and so deeply rooted in the human heart that only the grace of God can eradicate it. And what about the tendency to conform our way of thinking to the prevailing worldly opinion? It becomes necessary, then, to pray with insistence and tenacity, beseeching the Blessed Virgin for her powerful intercession to free us from the evil inclinations that enslave us to our own whims and to the follies of this world.
Moreover, an important virtue – which is in short supply in Catholic circles today – is presented as the antidote to mediocrity and, consequently, to pride. It is hope.
The disciples of Our Lord Jesus Christ were under the influence of a certain practical atheism, which prevailed among the Jews of that time because of the evil effluvia spread by the Sadducees and Pharisees. The expectation of the Redemption had been distorted by an earthly and political image of the future Messiah, which did not correspond to Israel’s true desires.
The suffering prior to the conquest of heaven
First of all, the Chosen People needed a spiritual salvation that would purify them from their sins and open the doors to an endless, heavenly and angelic life. But the elites rejected this vision, thirsty as they were for power and pleasure. They lacked, therefore, the indispensable virtue of hope.
To break this influence, Our Lord first of all reveals to the Apostles his Passion, Death and Resurrection. To pass through the crucible of pain, failure and drama before gaining the glory of Heaven was a path too arduous and unreasonable for them. The Apostles were incapable of grasping the grandiose horizon that Our Lord wished to unveil before their eyes, and still less the mortal hatred that, as a result of that same horizon, their enemies had for Him.
Indeed, the new and powerful doctrine proclaimed by the Son of God was filled with hope for eternal life and demanded the renunciation of personal interests as well as an unassuming dedication that was to lead to martyrdom. Such an idealistic and supernatural perspective rejected utterly the overly earthly and ambitious goals of the Pharisees and Scribes, who had fabricated for themselves a false myth of happiness and had an insatiable thirst for prestige and profit. That is why their hatred would be so implacable and cruel against the Messiah.
A new school: humility
However, timid and not understanding, the apostles kept silent. Then the Divine Master speaks to them of humility, exhorting them to become as small as the child He had embraced.
If they had opened their hearts to the perspective of eternity, they would have been more humble and generous, because to conquer a prize as sublime as Heaven, any sacrifice or renunciation seems small. All the more so because Our Lord had promised that those who humbled themselves would be exalted to the thrones of the Angels.
It is difficult to be humble if one does not live with intensity and joy the hope of definitive glory. On the other hand, only the humble find the key to true success for their lives and have open before them the gates of eternal happiness.
May the Blessed Virgin Mary, abyss of humility and Mother of Hope, assist and guide us so that, living more for Heaven than for this earth, we may be meek and humble of heart like her Son. Thus, having defeated the snares of the devil and his followers, we will be able to reach, victorious, the exalted goal that is proposed to us: Heaven.
Msgr. João Scognamiglio Clá Dias, EP
Text extracted, with adaptations, from the magazine “Heralds of the Gospel” n. 237, September 2021.
Compiled by Roberta MacEwan