First, a full disclosure…I am using a theme for this homily from a reflection given by a classmate of mine in the seminary. His name was Hector Villegas, mi vecino, who was later ordained as priest for Stockton, but died way too early a little over a year ago.
Do you know what humus is? Basically, we call it topsoil. It is that rich organic material from which good crop grows. Productive farms and gardens have a good humus.
Humus and humility have the same roots. They both mean of the earth, or to be earthy or grounded.
Just as we need good humus to have good crops and then be able to feed people, so we need humility for the word of God to grow within us, so that we can go and feed people.
Humility is to be grounded in God’s love. Humility is to understand that I, you, we, us, we are creatures, we are NOT God. Humility is to understand that as creatures, God sustains us, loves us. The more humble we are, the more humility we have, the more open we are to others. The more humility we have, the more love occurs within us.
The more humility we have the greater, the stronger community we have.
Jesus came to give us life, and so that we can have life abundantly. This abundant life only comes when we are united, when we are a community.
Think of the Holy Trinity, a community of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Trinity which is rooted in divine love; that willingness to give of self. The Trinity is the source of all life, from which we began and to which we are called to belong.
Jesus tells us that the Father sends to us, through the Holy Spirit, the seeds by which we can be united. These seeds are love.
God is always throwing love our way.
The humble person and the humble community receives this love, and it grows, and it spreads, and it creates unity. The humble person and community is one who gives of himself, herself or themselves for the benefit and good of others.
Jesus reveals this nature in himself, and reveals that this is the very nature of God. Thus it is our human nature to give of ourselves for others…in very concrete ways.
I feel that the issues and problems we face in our community are not necessarily related in particular to politics, nor to race, nor economics. I think it comes down to egotism and self-interest… a lack of true humility.
We are rooted not in Love of God, but in protecting our own butts.
The political, racial and economic problems are the visible signs of the invisible reality of our own egotism, our own self-interest and selfishness.
Too many of us will think only of ourselves, and our so called “rights” and our own things, our own money, our own lives…and we do not truly see others, we truly do not care for others. So we sin.
Thus we have the stoney, rock, dry, hardened souls. Not unlike the desert landscape that surrounds us. This creates nothing but hardship, pain, isolation, more suffering. This does nothing but create divisions; it allows us to ignore others, permit the abuse of other children of God.
I bet if any of us look at the conflicts in our own lives, especially the ongoing conflicts…if we are truly honest with ourselves, I bet it is because we are unwilling to listen, to give ourselves. It is because our egos have hardened our hearts.
Yet, God loves us even then and desires that we open ourselves to the divine love. God has given us the answer, the word, to the suffering and evil in this world, it is Love. It is that willingness of us to see the good and potential for good in others, and within ourselves.
Humility within us accepts this love, nurtures this love, and then produces real results, real products, not just nice words or facebook posts.
Humility produces actions by which we willingly give up money, time, effort, so that someone can have food; can have a decent job to support their own family.
Humility produces the willingness to let go the ego and give up trying to control others, and so that we can then listen to others, we can forgive others, we can be healed.
See, all of this Jesus lived and did. Jesus did not just talk the talk, he took action. He cured, he fed, he listened, he touched, he forgave, and ultimately he died on the cross.
He still does this, in the communion. Think of the humility, the son of God comes to us in those unleavened hosts of flour and water, and simple wine. The Father transforms them into the body and blood of the Son, through the divine love of the Holy Spirit, so that we who consume it are transformed.
So that we can be empowered to let go, to accept God’s love truly, and grow that love.
So that we can be a fertile people, feeding a world in which too many children are being killed, either by their parents, by starving because we will not share our food, or by our bombs because we think we have to protect our country.
So that we can feed a world in which there is too much violence against women; by their own families, by the social sin of sexism.
So that we can feed a world in which there is too much poverty.
So imagine what we can do, if we, as individuals and we as community, Church, nation, were to be more open to humility….
No, don’t imagine it.