Humility the way of Christ: Meditation for the 9th Sunday after Trinity
St. Bernard of Clairvaux defined humility as: “A virtue by which a man knowing himself as he truly is, abases himself. Jesus Christ is the ultimate definition of Humility.” The Collect for the day prays God to “give us the same mind that was in Christ Jesus, that sharing His humility, we may come to be with Him in His glory”. The “mind” or disposition, or attitude, or procedure, or way of Christ finds expression in what, in New Testament theology, is known as Kenosis (he emptied himself – Phil. 2:7). In the passage, (Phil. 2:3-11), Paul urged the Philippians to be self-effacing. They should adopt the procedure of Christ, Who by means of humility and self-abasement attained the highest glory:
Have this mind in you, which was yours in Christ Jesus, who being the very nature of God, did not count equality with God something to hold on to, but he emptied himself, taking the very nature of a servant…. he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross! Therefore, God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name…
All Christ followers should follow His way, which simply means developing the quality of humility. It means not thinking of oneself more highly than one should (Rom. 12:3), doing nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind, esteeming others better than oneself, looking out not only for one’s own interest, but also for the interests of others (Phil. 2:3-4). It is “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich,” (2Cor. 8:9). Jesus life/example has shown that the way of humility leads to glory. It is the way to the crown via the cross.
The Venerable Dr. Princewill Onyinyechukwu Ireoba, FIMC, CMC is the Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State. https://ibrucentre.org