The people’s shout that Isaiah alludes to come as a response to the marvelous things done for them, things whose source they recognize in God. Likewise, in his letter to Philemon, Paul shows his humility. After presenting himself as in control with a litany of statements that begin with “I know,” “I have learned,” etc., he adds “I can do all things in him who strengthens me.” Paul shows us a Christian way of being humble: He doesn’t discount his capabilities, but he recognizes their source.

You might have heard the joke about the man who was born on third base and thought he’d hit a triple. Let us ask for the grace to see how far we’ve come by the grace of God and respond. Let us rejoice and be glad in the God who has saved us!

—Fr. Martin Connell, S.J. is a professor of education and Rector of the Jesuit community at John Carroll University, University Heights OH.