God Favors Humility

Beloved:
Clothe yourselves with humility
in your dealings with one another, for:

God opposes the proud
but bestows favor on the humble.

So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God,
that he may exalt you in due time.
Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you.

Be sober and vigilant.
Your opponent the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion
looking for someone to devour.
Resist him, steadfast in faith,
knowing that your brothers and sisters throughout the world
undergo the same sufferings.
The God of all grace
who called you to his eternal glory through Christ Jesus
will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you
after you have suffered a little.
To him be dominion forever. Amen.

I write you this briefly through Silvanus,
whom I consider a faithful brother,
exhorting you and testifying that this is the true grace of God.
Remain firm in it.
The chosen one at Babylon sends you greeting, as does Mark, my son.
Greet one another with a loving kiss.
Peace to all of you who are in Christ.
(1 Peter 5:5-14)

Scripture Study

5:5 God opposes the proud: A quotation from the Greek version of Prov 3:34. ● The proverb pleads for humility with the promise that God will exalt us in his favor. Peter is encouraging humble submission to clergymen, who represent the Lord to his people (Acts 20:28). The proud, who are puffed up and insubordinate, will one day be humiliated (Jas 4:6–7).

5:6 Humble … exalt you: Echoes the saying of Jesus in Mt 23:12.

5:7 all your anxieties: Like any good father, God invites his children to unload their worries upon him so that peace and comfort can be given in return (Phil 4:6–7; CCC 322).

5:8 Your adversary the devil: Peter points the finger at Satan, accusing him of being the unseen perpetrator of Christian persecutions (5:9). His deadly intentions and predatorial tactics make him comparable to a ravenous lion on the hunt for food. Lions were greatly feared in biblical times (2 Kings 17:25–26) and were sometimes made a symbol of one’s enemy (Ps 7:1–2; 10:8–9) (CCC 2851–54).

5:12 Silvanus: Also known in the NT as “Silas”. He was once a member of Paul’s missionary team (Acts 15:40; 2 Cor 1:19) and a co-sender of two of his letters (1 Thess 1:1; 2 Thess 1:1). Most likely, Silvanus is mentioned here because Peter employed him as the writer or drafter of the epistle. It is also possible that he delivered the letter to its original recipients (1 Pet 1:1).

5:13 She: I.e., the Church, which is a feminine noun in Greek. Babylon: The place of writing where the letter originated. Most agree it is a code name for the city of Rome, in central Italy. my son Mark: John Mark, an early believer from Jerusalem (Acts 12:12) whom Christian tradition identifies as the author of the Gospel of Mark. Here associated with Peter, he was also a onetime companion of Paul (Col 4:10; 2 Tim 4:11).

5:14 the kiss of love: A customary form of greeting in Jewish antiquity (Gen 33:4; Lk 15:20). It was adopted by the early Christians as a sign of their fraternal affection as brothers and sisters in the faith (Rom 16:16; 1 Cor 16:20).

Scripture Reflection

The apostle concludes his exhortation with a call to humility, which should express itself in complete docility in the face of the trials God permits as we cast our burdens at the feet of our Lord, for he has promised to sustain us.

If we remain firm in the faith, we will be able to resist the attacks of the devil. The trials of these momentary afflictions are preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparisons. St Francis of Assisi, encourages us to remain fixed on our faith in God: “So great is the good that I hope for, that any pain is for me a pleasure.”

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.