There is no true humility without humiliation.
According to Vatican News, Pope Francis gave this reminder during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta as he reflected on David’s humilation told in today’s first reading.
While remembering that David was a great man, overcoming Goliath, also with a ‘noble soul’ since he chose not to kill Saul despite twice having the chance to do so, the Pope said David was a sinner. Francis pointed out that the Great David had committed adultery and arranged for his lover Bathsheba’s husband to be killed.
However, the Holy Father observed, the Church still venerates him because he was humiliated. He ‘accepted’ forgiveness, repented for his sins, and let himself be transformed by the Lord.
The Pontiff also recalled the insults David endured, stressing that this mockery and his being discarded is similar to that of Jesus.
“Sometimes we think that humility is to go quietly, perhaps head-down looking at the floor… but even pigs walk with their heads down: this is not humility. This is that fake, ready-to-wear humility,” the Pope said, “which neither saves nor guards the heart. We have to be aware that there is no true humility without humiliation, and if you are not able to tolerate, to carry humiliation on your shoulders, you are not truly humble: you pretend you are, but you are not”.
Both David and Jesus burden themselves with sins, the Pontiff said, and they were both humiliated.
“There is always the temptation to counter slander and oppose anything that humiliates us or makes us feel ashamed – like Shimei. But David says “No”; the Lord says “No”, that is not the right path. The path is the one taken by Jesus and prophesied by David: bearing humiliation. ‘Perhaps the Lord will look upon my affliction and make it up to me with benefits for the curses he is uttering this day’: turning humiliation into hope.
Humility, Francis warned, is not justifying oneself immediately in the face of an offense and trying to look good.
“If you are unable to bear humiliation, you are not humble” he warned: “this is the golden rule”.
Pope Francis concluded, saying: “Let us ask the Lord for the grace of humility, with humiliations” saying our humiliations are opportunities to become more like the Lord.