I have always cheered the underdog. Their patience, never give up attitudes, faith and trust in a higher power, their hope. They remind me to â€œbeâ€ a humble â€œattitude.â€ Â TheÂ readings from the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, especially the Beatitudes, are favorites of mine because they remind me that when I am most humbled is when Christ is most visibly present in my life.
â€œSeek the LORD, all you humble of the earth, who have observed his law; seek justice, seek humility; perhaps you may be sheltered on the day of the LORDâ€™s anger” (Zep. 2:3; 3:12-13).
“. . . God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong, and God chose the lowly and despised of the world, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who are something . . .” (1 Cor. 1:26-31).
” . . . Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven” (Matt. 5:1-12a).
I am humbled when I give up control and turn my trust to God. I am humbled when I am persecuted because of my choices to go against the norms of society, choosing the path against â€œit must be right if everyone else is doing it.â€ I am humbled when I receive a thank you for a few â€œright words.â€ I am humbled when I am the underdog. I am humbled when I remember that I canâ€™t do it all and I have to turn to others for help.
THAT is when the humility of my heart seeks and finds God the closest. That is when my prayers ask for the truly important blessingsâ€”that of health, not wealth; that of spiritual comfort, not physical; that of peace, comfort and righteousness, not happiness.
When my â€œbe-attitudeâ€ is humbleness, then all of my fears and sorrows are turned to hope because my trust has turned to seek Godâ€™s reward not man’s.Â I read something about how we are always looking up, striving for â€œmore,â€ reaching for new success, and while that is a good goal for the world, it isnâ€™t Godâ€™s goal for us. God is closer to me when I am the humble underdogâ€”if I am truly humble and remember to ask Him to be with me.
God blesses those who are on their knees in prayer. He blesses those who are suffering from the pains of loss and illness. He blesses those who serve the poor and lowly. He blesses them because it is in those situations that we are reminded that our rewards are not here on earth, but with Him in heaven.
Do we think we can do no wrong and that our sins will automatically be forgiven just because we believe in God? Is my attitude telling those around me that I am better than they are because my faith is stronger? Am I arrogant and careless in my faith or am I humble and respectful for the â€œgiftâ€ of faith I have received? Do I share that gift in a compassionate way with others or do I â€œbeatâ€ them over the head with it? Or do I hide my gift â€œunder a bushel basketâ€ unwilling to share it because I feel the pressure of the secular culture to keep God private?Â Â Are my choices telling God that I am in control, or am I allowing myself to be â€œweakâ€ so that God can take control?
Cheer the underdog! Be humble and know that God is near!
Heavenly Father, make my â€œbe-attitudeâ€ humble. Thank you for being there for my friends and family who suffer illness and sorrow. Thank you for answering my prayers to help the underdogs win. Help them to seek and find comfort and hope by trusting in you. Help me to silently accept my sufferings and graciously give my gifts, not so that I may have earthly rewards, but so that my service will be given humbly and be seen as righteous in heaven. Amen.