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There is no humility without humiliation

Friday, 7 February 2020



The Holy Father invited the faithful gathered at Santa Marta for Holy Mass not to “be afraid of humiliation” as this is the path indicated to us by Jesus and John the Baptist. As he reflected on the day’s Gospel Reading from Mark which narrates the beheading of John the Baptist, the Pope explained that John’s task had been “to show the way of Jesus”, bearing witness to the path chosen by God for our salvation, hence the path of humiliation. Jesus himself had humiliated himself unto death on the Cross. Both Jesus and John had been tempted by the temptation of vanity and pride and while suffering from a kind of “human and spiritual depression”, they both ended “in the most humiliating way”.

“The path of humiliation chosen by Jesus and John the Baptist is the path that Christians should follow”, Pope Francis said. One cannot be “humble without humiliation”, he stressed. When we try to draw attention to ourselves in the Church and in the community in order to gain a position, we are behaving in a worldly way. This “temptation to climb” can also happen to priests and this intolerance, he continued, and this cannot be tolerated. “If a shepherd does not follow the humble path, he is not a disciple of Jesus” but “a climber in a cassock”.

*L'Osservatore Romano, Weekly edition in English, n.12, 20 March 2020

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