The readings for today remind me of the power of humility. As I write this reflection, I am sitting in our very small apartment in Switzerland overlooking the Alps and Lake Geneva. Today was one of those rare, crisp summer days when the view of the Alps is absolutely breathtaking. The Mont Blanc, the tallest mountain in Europe, towers over them all and it is right in front of me! My son, Sebastien, and I climbed to the top of the Dole mountain, the tallest spot on the much lower mountain ranges nearby. The ascent was hard (at least for me), but it was worth the effort. At its peak, we could see the lake at our feet and the snow capped mountains across from it. This wonder of nature reminded me of my place on this planet. I felt blessed to have been given the opportunity to experience the beauty, and blessed to have been able to spend this time with my college bound son. It also made me think of today’s psalm reading “blessed are you who fear the LORD.” There was no doubt: the Lord was present and He was awe inspiring.
Humility doesn’t always come easy to me. To be humble, I have to submit to God’s will and authority; I have to recognize the talents that others possess, while recognizing the limits to my own talents and ability. While recognizing the talents of my children or husband seems relatively easy, I find it sometimes difficult to recognize other individuals’ talents, and I often find it difficult to do things without being recognized. Today is my younger son’s first day of college. He is an extraordinarily multi-talented young man who will likely succeed in his chosen field. As a parent, I am very proud of his and his brother’s achievements. It is easy to acknowledge their talents – they are wonderful and at some level it reflects well on me. I can bask in their glory. I think that too often, I am searching for recognition and honor because I want to be valued. However, I tend to forget that God values all of us, no matter who we are or what we have achieved. I don’t need to seek His approval – I have it. Unlike the scribes and Pharisees, I don’t have to spend my time on works that are to be seen to be honored. Undoubtedly, receiving recognition for my talents is appreciated, but those talents are a gift of God. Today, I thank God for his many blessings and I ask him to keep me humble.
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