Homily for the 4th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year A
Zephaniah 2:3; 3:12-13
Psalm 146: 6-7, 8-9, 9-10
1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Ambition drives us to work hard in school, to get good grades, to go to the best school we can, to strive after internships and jobs, to be better men and women. Our ambitions, however, can sometimes get the best of us. We prioritize our desires and wants over the needs of others; we see our success only through the eyes of the world.
Our readings today remind us the best way to frame and temper our ambitions: humility. St. Thomas Aquinas shows us how humility is a part of temperance, the use of right reason to control and moderate our passions. Humility, for Aquinas, also helps us to be ambitious in the best possible way through absolute confidence in God and His Providence.
In a world where the school we attend, the major we choose, the people we know directly impacts our careers, it is important to remember the need to be equally or more ambitious in poverty of spirit, meekness, humility, purity of heart, and all of the Beatitudes if we truly desire happiness and a meaningful life.