I don't remember if I shared this before with you but my former boss once told me that "humility is a virtue that once you know you have it, you lose it -- instantly." True, right?

Hindi naman kasi puwedeng sabihin, "A basta, alam ko -- humble ako." (You can't say: "I just know it. I'm humble."

Humility was the topic of Bishop Raul Martires' sermon at mass this morning and I just thought it would be good to share his insights with people on the net.

Bishop Martires states that humility is not about low self-esteem or having an inferiority complex. It's not saying: "Hindi naman." ("Not really") when someone praises you for having sang a song so well or for looking really pretty. Bishop Martires says that humility is truth.

To put things in proper perspective, let us recall that the Gospel reading for today was about Jesus observing guests at a banquet. He suggested that when we are at a feast, we should not jockey for the place of honor as it may be reserved for a more important guest. It is better for the host to ask us to move to a more favorable seat or position than for him to send us away as the seat has been reserved for someone else. It is in this context that Bishop Martires talks about humility.

When we have accomplished much or when we have amassed a lot of wealth, it may be quite difficult to stay humble and not feel proud about ourselves. To check ourselves from time to time, Bishop Raul suggests that you and I ask this question: "What do you have now that you did not receive?"

Bishop Martires simply reminds us that everything that we have is not because of something we did. Everything is a gift or a blessing from God. We are in no position to boast, therefore.

The second point that he wanted to make in connection with humility is that "everything is fleeting." 100 years from now, will anyone remember you or your accomplishments? 50 years from now, will anyone remember this blog? (That's my own question. I don't think Bishop Martires even knows about this blog.) We all have our moments of successes, achievements, and fame -- but that's all they are -- moments and no moment lasts forever.

When we realize that everything is a gift from God and that everything will not matter and will be gone one day, then maybe, it will be easier to be humble and less proud. Let me leave you with a story, also shared by Bishop Martires:

There was a man who occupied an important position that he was so proud of what he had accomplished. One day, he was in his office, and he was talking on the phone when a utility man came in. The utility man sat in front of the important official, waiting for the conversation to end.

The important official, was on the phone, conversing loudly:

Official: Yes, Mr. Secretary. I will tell the President when I see him next.

After ending his conversation, he turns to the utility man and asks: "What can I do for you?"

Utility Man: "Nothing, sir. I'm just here to connect your phone." =)

Bishop Martires says that all our pretenses and masks will be gone someday. So hard as it may sound, you and I can try to be more humble each day. Have a blessed weekend.

[By Angelica Viloria | Saturday, November 4, 2006]

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