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Day 16: Humility

Advent Blog Headers 2023 (18)

Editor’s Note: For day 16 of our Advent series, “The Day of Joy Drew Near,” Amanda MacMillan, a DCSC alumna and former house manager, reflects on the Feast of the Epiphany and contemplates how we can approach our Lord with humility.

The Feast of the Epiphany celebrates the first visitors to the Holy Family. The Magi answered the call, followed the star, and came bearing elaborate gifts to the newborn king. This creates a complex image. A humble family in a modest stable being visited by kings – who are symbols of power, wealth, and prestige. I picture three men decked out in their Sunday best holding curated and expensive items to bestow on the newborn Savior. 

Throughout my Catholic education, this is how I was taught to present myself to God. Not so much dressed as a king, but as my absolute best self at all times. I dressed respectfully, recited prayers flawlessly, and offered up my actions and gifts to God. It is obviously not a bad thing to look nice and pray well, however there is more to one’s relationship with God than just matters of appearance. 

The image of kings presenting themselves to the Lord with expensive gifts is just not the full picture. In a recent conversation with fellow blog contributor, Sam, he said “We often think that we are the wise men with so many gifts to offer, but in reality we are all just the little drummer boy with not much to give.” It is about the intentions, not just appearance. But oftentimes, I don’t even feel as equipped as the little drummer boy, and still, God sees me.

We aren’t called to come to the manger as perfect humans. We are called to come to the manger with a posture of humility. To come as we are. We aren’t called to talk to Jesus with perfected rote prayers. We are called to talk to Jesus like we would a friend and a mentor. Recently, I lost my grandmother with whom I was very close. It has changed my prayer life quite a bit. I now often talk to Jesus how I would talk to her. It has opened my heart to be more honest. Her unconditional love for me has helped me grow in my trust that Jesus, too, loves me unconditionally. 

My recent hyperfixation song has been “O Come All Ye Unfaithful” by Sovereign Grace Music. The first time I heard it I was moved to tears. It is a calling to come to Jesus as you are, no matter the state, because he is the true offering. The gift of grace to get you through whatever it is that weighs heavy on your heart.

O come, all you unfaithful

Come, weak and unstable

Come, know you are not alone

So come, though you have nothing

Come, He is the offering

Come, see what your God has done”

My hope for us all this Epiphany is that we approach the manger with the humility, the honesty, and the vulnerability that we approach the people we love on Earth. We can only be met with grace, and we can only pray that we will see what our God has done in our lives.

Question for Reflection: How can you let go of perfection and embrace humility in your relationship with Jesus? 

With a passion for service and Franciscan spirituality, Amanda Saunders joined DC Service Corps in June 2016. Having served on short-term immersion trips herself, she brought this excitement to her role as Programs Associate. Originally from Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, Amanda graduated from Neumann University, studying Theology, Psychology, and Youth Ministry within a liberal arts program. She is now the Director of Campus Ministry at Bishop MacNamara High School in Forestville, Maryland.