"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".
"Humility is not justifying oneself immediately in the face of an offense, trying to look good:" if you cannot bear a humiliation, you are not humble ". "This is the golden rule". And "if someone is brave, he can ask, as St. Ignatius teaches us, he can ask the Lord to send him humiliations, to more closely resemble the Lord ".
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.”
“[W]hen we already desire to perform a good act, like an act of charity, we say ‘It’s the Holy Spirit inspiring me to do this’. And when we realise we harbour within ourselves the desire to attack someone because they are weak, we have no doubt: It is the devil.”
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”.