Advent, 22 December – Luke 1:46-56

What was the reaction of Mary to the praise of Elizabeth? We hear it today in the Gospel: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, (. . .) because he has looked upon his lowly handmaid”.

People put a lot of effort into being appreciated and admired. Whereas Mary teaches us exactly the opposite – humility. This isn’t just about suppressing the impulses of pride, ambition, selfishness and vanity, but above all, bowing before God and acknowledging our smallness and unworthiness before Him. The more a person realises this infinite difference between creation and God, the greater the amazement and gratitude for the graces received from Him.

Humility is also the foundation of all virtues, and especially is the basis of love – because as we think less about ourselves, we can be increasingly concerned for others and care for their needs. And so, it’s why Saint Francis de Sales said:

“Humility and love are mother virtues. Other virtues come from them, like chicks from a Hen”.

Saint Peter reminds us: “And all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble’.”

The decision is left with us . . .

Lord, I am sorry that I continually thank You and praise You too little. Help me to accept the great gift of humility, that is so wonderfully revealed in Your Son.