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As I See It: Humility can change our lives

Thinking back to when I was a young boy growing up in Milwaukee, the Easter season was just as special as Christmas. Even better, it was spring and the grass was greening up and there was lots of evidence of new life.

Schools and most stores closed at noon on Good Friday, and nearly all the city reflected the somber tone of the day. It was a kinder, gentler society back then.

Today, April 18, 2019, is the first day of the Easter Triduum - Holy Thursday. It was the first day of Passover in Jesus' time and He was sharing the Passover meal with his apostles.

We must remember that Christianity has deep roots in Judaism and its customs. During the meal, He identified His betrayer, established a new covenant and instituted the Sacrament of the Eucharist. At the close of the meal, he did not drink the traditional last cup of the meal, saying He would not drink of the cup again until he went to His Father's Kingdom.

That last "cup" was consumed as He died on the cross on Good Friday - the redemptive end of a life of humility.

There are so many divisions in our society today that may have been present in the 1950s, but we somehow still managed to live in civility. With each decade and generation, we believe we have become so much more knowledgeable, sensitive and progressive than we were 70 years ago, but that sure seems like a monumental lie to me.

The worst lies are the ones we tell ourselves, aren't they?

Our world and our country are divided on national, racial, ethnic, tribal, color, religious, social, economic, educational, sexual and political lines or boundaries. I'm sure I'm missing a couple dozen other factors, and all of these are certainly not mutually exclusive.

Some lines and boundaries serve a practical purpose, while others result in or are used to restrict the actions or freedom of others. So much for the more knowledgeable, sensitive and progressive society we believe we have.

We can return to some semblance of that society if we do just one thing - collectively adopt a spirit of humility. If we can do that, good things will follow. Through humility, we can dump the sense of pride that keeps us from being more respectful of all the other people that inhabit this country and this world.

We will understand that we can be different and still be accepted - whether it's race, sex, religion, education or any of those other factors we use to divide ourselves.

That doesn't mean everyone will become good overnight. We are all sinners with a nature that often chooses the sinful path because it seems so good and attractive at the time, but eventually entraps us deeper and deeper into the wrong behavior to the point we won't or can't let it go.

Hopefully many of us used the Lenten season to reflect on where we have fallen short in relation to people and the world. As Psalm 51 says, "A humble, contrite heart Lord, you will not spurn." This Easter is the perfect time to try some humility.

We always have time to make amends; however, waiting until the last minute is not recommended.

That's how I see it.