GOSPEL MESSAGE & RECORDING
Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem is anything but triumphant. He rode in on a donkey to enter the gates of Jerusalem. Further, he himself knew this was the beginning of the end, at least in human terms. That is, in the days approaching, he would be betrayed by all, especially by one of his own, and eventually be killed by the plot of the Jews and the authorities of Rome. If we were to stage our own “triumphant” entry in the context of the 21st century, we would “roll in” with the best car, best attire, best shoes, and best perfume. But Christ showed us that to be triumphant has little to do with wealth, prestige, honor, power or glory. Rather, it has everything to do with “humility.” That’s right! Humility! Humility is the key to salvation--so declare the Fathers of the Church. The definition of humility is: a person’s ability to conduct themselves in all things without pride or arrogance.
Here, let us focus on what humility is. Humility is:
Confidence: Christ was, in my view, the most confident man that ever lived. (Humanly speaking.) He knew what he believed and he wasn’t afraid to state it. Numerous times he confronted the Pharisees on various issues and a few times scolded them. Humility allows us to have confidence without thinking we are better than others. It’s not humble to put ourselves down or consider ourselves worthless which leads to hopelessness and despair. Rather, we should carry ourselves with confidence but use it to help others, bring glory to God and witness the Gospel in a fallen world. Further, lack of confidence can be brought upon by jealousy—the need to dwell on what others have and what we don’t have. Confidence expresses to others that we are content with what the Lord has provided, spiritually, intellectually and materially.
Attractive: In someway or the other Christ’s choice of riding on a donkey allowed him to look more attractive; that is, it made people take a second look and ask questions. In other words, riding on a donkey got him more “press.” When we are at work or attempting to advance in our career we might think that in order to “go up the ladder” we have to be deceptive and greedy. The market crash of 2008 has showed us that that is far from the truth. Ethical standards and practices are mandatory courses in business schools and professional developments at work. Humility is in! Humility allows us to be honesty, hard working, trustworthy and a good team player. It makes a person look attractive. Others will want to be around us and join our company. Pride or arrogance is something people want to stay away from.
Helpful: If humility lessens our pride, then the natural outcome will be for us to think of others. I am not saying that we will not think of our families or our well-being. We may. In some sense, we should. Meaning, if you can’t take care of yourself or your family, how can you take care of others? The point is: we will always be thinking about how we can give back, in terms of our time, money and assets. Humility allows us to think about how we are a part of a larger picture. Further, it will lift away laziness. We will be willing to physically help others and not avoid helping others in time of need.
“It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.” —Saint Augustine