Of Humiliation and Humility
TWENTY-SECOND SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
Prayer of the Day: Sovereign God, you turn your greatness into goodness for all the peoples on earth. Shape us into willing servants of your kingdom, and make us desire always and only your will, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
“So Jesus called them and said to them, ‘You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.’” Mark 10:42-45
Humility is perhaps the most misunderstood of virtues, being frequently confused with humiliation. Though both words are derived from the same root, they each represent quite different concepts. Humiliation is an act of violence committed by one person against another. To humiliate someone is to degrade and embarrass him/her. It consists in using verbal abuse, peer pressure or perhaps even physical assault to put someone else into what you believe to be their proper place. Humiliation is the means by which one’s privileged position within the hierarchy of the status quo is preserved. It is hard at work in the heart of racism, sexism, nationalism and gender bias. Sadly, it is now the weapon of choice in the realm of so much of our political and religious discourse.
Humility, by contrast, is a habit of the heart. Read more