In the final days of Advent, let us greet Christ with humility


December 23 / Fourth Sunday of Advent

Elizabeth...said, “And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” ~Luke 1:42


If there are any fashionable virtues these days—and sometimes it seems that the very concept of virtue is obsolete—we can be sure that humility is not among them. Nearly every aspect of our culture screams at us constantly to promote ourselves, to showcase our accomplishments, to market ourselves in the most flattering ways possible. In a social and political environment that crackles with boastfulness and one-upmanship, Instagram and Facebook and other forms of social media further stoke the fires of self-aggrandizement. To a world that valorizes the bright lights and the big city, quietly going about one’s business, acting with humility and staying out of the limelight are liabilities, stances taken by “losers” and underachievers. But in point of fact, if we focus on our own importance and our many virtues, we will miss the encounter with God. As British mystic Evelyn Underhill once wrote, “We make the first and greatest of our mistakes in religion when we begin with ourselves, our petty feelings and needs, ideas and capacities.” Elizabeth shows us how humility prepares the way to God. The aging wife of a late-career temple priest, whom God has made the mother of John the Baptist, spends no time congratulating herself on her elevated status and her privileged role. Rather, she displays joyful and genuine self-effacement at Mary’s visit, overwhelmed that her young cousin, bearing the Christ child in her womb, has come to see her in the hill country. As the last days of Advent tick down, we would do well to let go of our puffed-up self-regard and open ourselves in humility and joy to the coming of Our Lord.

Mighty and magnificent God, may I worship you on bended knee, subordinating all thoughts of self to the imperative of worshiping you. Amen.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Eveline Heston
8 months ago

Arvind Kumar
8 months ago

When first time i am see the add of this tanks trouble game the i have decided to play because in the add of this game i have seen that it will be a multimedia game that you can enjoyed a lot.

More: Advent / Prayer

The latest from america

Light streams into St. Gabriel’s Passionist Parish in Toronto. (Photo courtesy of Larkin Architect Limited)
The daily light show at St. Gabriel's in Toronto is not just aesthetically moving, writes Dean Dettloff. It is part of a church design that reminds us of human dependence on the earth.
Dean DettloffAugust 23, 2019
“The Church is a family of families,” Pope Francis writes in “Amoris Laetitia.”
Kerry WeberAugust 23, 2019
Our commitment to God is expressed through living out the gospel, but also in your fidelity to prayer. Day in and day out. “Showing up and shutting up,” as my friend likes to say about daily prayer.
James Martin, S.J.August 23, 2019
In this Aug. 20, 2019 drone photo released by the Corpo de Bombeiros de Mato Grosso, brush fires burn in Guaranta do Norte municipality, Mato Grosso state, Brazil. (Corpo de Bombeiros de Mato Grosso via AP)
A record number of wildfires and the rapid deforestation of the Amazon are prompting Latin American bishops to plead for international action, writes America’s correspondent in Brazil, Eduardo Campos Lima.
Eduardo Campos LimaAugust 23, 2019