Listen, Lord, and answer me,
for I am poor and needy.
The Anglican tradition has a wonderful prayer which the people pray prior to coming to the Altar to receive Communion (It’s called “The Prayer of Humble Access”):
We do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table. But thou art the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy: Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body, and our souls washed through his most precious blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen.
Psalm 86 and this prayer, have one thing in common: humility. Our Lady, who would bring forth the greatest gift ever offered to humankind, was known first, for her humility.
What is so important about humility? Why do you think God requires it of us if we are to be united with him? We might find the answer through the incarnation of his Son.
The King of kings and Lord of lords, would come into the world, not with the pomp and circumstance one might think that God would display, rather born of a humble man whose wife became pregnant before they were married.
I would like to suggest that, if for no other reason than the above, the most important characteristic of a Christian is humility. Might I suggest it was who Jesus was, not only in his birth, but his life and death as well.
OK, we know he came into this world in humility, but was his life a humble one? The answer might be found in a series of questions:
Who did Jesus lord over?
Who did Jesus govern?
Who did Jesus dominate?
Who did he impose his beliefs upon?
Who did he control?