Humility a Function of Maturity.
The Twenty-Eighth Sunday after Pentecost.
The Twelfth Sunday after the Holy Cross.
Our Venerable Father Patapius.
The Holy Hannah, Mother of the Prophet Samuel.
A Sunday Falling within Philip's Fast.
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1:08 AM 12/10/2012 — Of course the Gospel today focuses on the virtue of gratitude. We’d probably all agree that gratitude is a rare enough quality when it comes to how we deal with one another; but, it’s just as rare, if not more so, in our dealings with God. And today we are presented that incident when our Lord encountered ten lepers and cured them all, but only one came back to give thanks. And our Lord even asked him, “Were not all ten made clean? And the other nine, where are they?” And I don’t wonder if that ratio isn’t accurate. We are grateful for maybe a tenth of what we should be grateful for.
It’s easy to focus on what’s wrong with our lives, and everyone has something wrong. There’s no one who wouldn’t say that there isn’t something in his or her life that he wouldn’t want to change somehow. For some it may be something trivial; for others it may be something monumental, like a marriage that’s gone bad, or a child that’s in trouble, or a serious health problem. There’s always something negative that we can think about. And when there’s something wrong, it’s very difficult to put that aside and say, “Yeah, but look what’s right with my life. Look at how fortunate I am aside from this problem.” There’s always something to get depressed about if what you want is to be depressed.
Many times over the years we’ve spoken here about what we call Spiritual Maturity. A spiritually mature person is one who can receive the crosses given to him in life, not necessarily without hardship, not without difficulty or suffering, not even without complaining sometimes, but without any effect on the strength of his faith. It is said that the first sign of maturity in a child is when he first realizes that mom and dad know better, not because he’s seen the reason of his parents’ position, but because he understands that they are more experienced than he, and therefore understand things that he can’t yet. And that same thing is true in our relationship with God: we can say we are spiritually mature when we can realize that God’s ways are not our ways; and that it isn’t necessary to understand why this or that has happened, except to understand that God has a handle on it even if we don’t. It takes a lot of humility to reach that point in life; but humility is also a function of maturity.
I should like you to notice, in your monthly calendar, the times that have been scheduled for confessions before Christmas; and, as you prepare for confession this Philip’s Fast, here’s a question you can add to your examination of conscience: Am I grateful for everything I have received? or do I choose, instead, to brood about what I think has been denied to me?
Father Michael Venditti
* Due to the "Lucan Jump," the Gospel read today is that for the 29th Sunday after Pentecost. Cf. the note appended to the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost.