"Humility is to be small, like the shoot, small but growing every day, small but in need of the Holy Spirit to be able to move forward, towards the fullness of life".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Accepting humiliation, as Jesus did, is what indicates being humble, an indispensable gift in a Christian’s life said Pope Francis at Mass celebrated this morning at Casa Santa Marta. He was commenting on the passage from Isaiah (11.1-10), where he says: "On that day, a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom".
The Pope said that every Christian is like "a small shoot on which the Spirit of the Lord rests, the spirit of wisdom and intelligence, the spirit of counsel and fortitude, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord ". "These,” the Pope said, “are the gifts of the Holy Spirit which grow from the smallness of the bud to the fullness of the Spirit. This is the promise, this is the Kingdom of God” and "the life of the Christian," he stressed. "To be aware that each of us is a “sprout of that root which must grow with the power of the Holy Spirit, to the fullness of the Holy Spirit in us.” And what is the task of the Christian? Simply keep the shoot that grows in us, keep growing, keep the Spirit ".
And the Christian lifestyle is "a style like that of Jesus, of humility". "It takes faith and humility to believe that this shoot, this small gift will come to the fullness of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It takes humility to believe that the Father, Lord of heaven and earth, as today’s Gospel says, has hidden these things from the wise and learned and revealed them to the little ones. Humility means to be small, like the sprout that grows little by little to the fullness of life through the power of Holy Spirit".
"Some believe that being humble - the Pope continued - is to be polite, courteous, to close your eyes in prayer ...". "No, being humble is not that". So "how can I know if I'm humble?". "There is a sign, a signal, the only one: accepting humiliation. Humility without humiliation is not humility. Humble is that man, that woman, who is capable of enduring humiliations as Jesus endured them, the humiliated, the Great humiliated ". And there is the example of many saints "who not only accepted humiliation but asked for it" to resemble Jesus. "May the Lord - the Pope concluded - give us this grace to guard our being small, to guard the fullness of Spirit, not to forget our roots and to accept the humiliation".
Redemption “comes via the path of humility and humiliations because humility never comes without humiliation. And we see Jesus humiliated on the Cross.” “What counts, Jesus said, is the freedom the father’s redemption, love and recreation gave us.”
The kingdom of God is always "a surprise" because it is "a gift given by the Lord". Jesus explains that "the kingdom of God does not come to attract attention, and no one will say, 'Here it is, or there it is.'" "It's not a show or even worse."
"We are all taken up by the frenzy of our daily rhythms, often at the mercy of feelings, dazed, confused. We must learn how to find the path to our hearts, retrieve the value of intimacy and silence, because that's where God meets us and speaks to us". "If God favours humility, it is not to demean us: humility is rather a necessary condition to be raised by Him, so as to experience the mercy that comes to fill our emptiness”.
At the Angelus, Pope Francis expresses his closeness to the families affected by the earthquake in Latium, Marches, and Umbria. He plans to visit to bring "in person the comfort of the faith, the embrace of a father and a brother, and the support of Christian hope." As “pride, careerism, vanity, and ostentation are the cause of many evils”, it is better to choose “free giving instead of opportunist calculation to get a reward.” Canteens for the poor “spread the culture of free giving”. The World Day of Prayer for the care of Creation is set for 1 September "together with our Orthodox brothers and other ecclesial communities."
Only the little ones "are capable of understanding" fully "the sense of humility", the "sense of fear of the Lord" because "they walk before the Lord," watched over and shielded. This is “not the humility of the one who said: 'I am humble, but proud of it'."