Today is the feast of St. Juan Diego, and the readings for his memorial speak both to his character and challenge us evaluate our own character during this time of Advent. In the first reading, we hear some powerful assertations from St. Paul. He reminds the Corinthians that they are not necessarily the greatest by “human standards.” Most of them are not wise, not powerful, and have little affluence. However, because of their calling as Christians, they are the ones who, through their failings, can be lifted up as an example to others.
Often, we can find ourselves measuring our worth against others. In our society – and in high school –, it is easy compare ourselves to others based on what they wear, their academic or athletic success, or simply their “popularity.” By choosing to set our standards based upon those around us, we can lose sight of the values by which we truly are defined. By choosing to judge ourselves, we ignore the fundamental truth that our worth comes from being made in the image and likeness of God.
One virtue we can strive to grow in this Advent is humility. Especially today on the feast of St. Juan Diego, we can realize that God can lift us up from the most ordinary circumstances. By recognizing our gifts – both our worldly talents and the divine gifts of grace and salvation –, we can choose to grow in humility, and by doing so, realign our vision with God’s vision. Through our humility, we can free ourselves from selfish ambition, enabling us to give more generously and be truer in our relationships this Advent.
— Brendan Benigno, Class of 2022