Humility, Community, and Jesus


Jesus called his disciples to humility and littleness.  He called them to become like small children, not to seek to prove that they were in the right and that others were wrong.  He called them to be with the poor, those without a voice, and through them to live in communion with him, just as he lived in communion with the Father.  Pride destroys community; humility helps to build it up.  Humility means seeing in the beauty of others the gift of God; it means recognizing the darkness in ourselves, the self-satisfaction behind our good deeds, our longing to take first place.  It means recognizing that we need Jesus to free us from this pride that is inside all of us. 

Humility means accepting our place in the body of a community and respecting the place of others.  It means obeying others and serving them.  Humility means recognizing the importance of doing small things for the community.  Humility also means having the courage of one’s convictions and being fully responsible so that the community can be more loving and true.

By being in communion with Jesus, who is gentle and humble of heart, we can be freed of our tendencies to judge and condemn others, and live humbly with the humble and build with them places of peace and love, places of hope in a wounded world.

-Jean Vanier, The Heart of L’Arche, p.68-69

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