Acts 9:1-20 / John 6:52-59
Pope Francis was quoted as saying: This is God's way, the way of humility. It is the way of Jesus; there is no other. And there can be no humility without humiliation.
What is rather startling about what Pope Francis said is that there can be no humility without humiliation. Do we really need to be humiliated in order to be humble?
As we think about it, maybe the experience of St. Paul in the 1st reading could give us some points for reflection in the relationship between humility and humiliation.
St. Paul, or Saul as he was known in the 1st reading, was on the road to Damascus, to arrest the followers of Jesus. He was riding high and mighty and could be proud of himself for getting rid of these religious heretics.
And then a light from heaven threw him to the ground and then he heard a voice saying, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?"
Surprised and shocked, he asked, "Who are you, Lord?" At least he had enough of sense to acknowledge that whoever was speaking to him was certainly more powerful than he is.
The voice revealed itself as Jesus and that Saul was persecuting Him. Saul was humbled but Jesus did not go on to humiliate him for persecuting His followers.
Jesus even sent a disciple called Ananias to heal Saul and to recover his sight and he was even baptized.
The once proud and high and mighty Saul is now a humble St. Paul. He was humbled but not humiliated. It can be said that St. Paul was humble enough not to be humiliated.
St. Paul even went on to call himself the greatest of sinners. That goes to show that humility is when you tell the truth about yourself.
Just as Jesus taught St. Paul how to be humble, may we also accept the lessons of humility that come our way. After all it is better to be humble than to be humiliated.