Saint Theresa Parish

A Roman Catholic Community
5045 E. Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85018
(602) 840-0850 Parish Office
(602) 840-0871 Parish Fax  

Parish Email

Parish Office Hours
Monday through Thursday
9:00AM-Noon & 1:00PM-5:00PM
Friday 9:00AM-Noon          Sunday 8:30AM-12:30PM

Closed Saturdays
& most Federal Holidays.

Liturgy Schedule
Saturday Vigil Mass 4PM
Sunday Masses
9:00AM (Liturgy with Children)
11:00AM and
5:00PM (Teen and Young Adult)

Daily Masses
Monday through Friday
6:30AM and Saturday at 8:00AM
Holy Day Masses as announced in bulletin prior to the Holy Day.

Sacrament of Reconciliation
Saturday, 9:00AM to 10:00AM
Wednesday, 5:00PM to 6:00PM and by appointment


Rev. Charles G. Kieffer

Parochial Vicar 

(Associate Pastor)

Rev. Joachim Adeyemi

Rev. J.C. Ortiz

Assisting Priest

Rev. Paul Peri


Colin F. Campbell

Mark Kriese

Ralph Ulibarri


Saint Theresa Catholic School
5001 East Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85018

(602) 840-0010 School Office
(602) 840-8323 School Fax



« Reflections - September 8, 2019 | Main | Reflections - August 25, 2019 »

Reflections - September 1, 2019

My Brothers and Sisters,

On this Labor Day Weekend, we are challenged by the first couple of verses of our Old Testament reading (Sirach 3:17-18, 20, 28-29)… “My child, conduct your affairs with humility, and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts.  Humble yourself the more, the greater you are, and you will find favor with God.”  The writer is presenting these words as a wise teacher counseling an adult student, addressed as “my child.”  Though the author lived in the late second and early third century B.C., his wisdom does not tarnish with age.

But… humility?  When we think of “humility,” we might call to mind images of someone with a low self-regard and a sense of unworthiness.  In this way, it’s easy to think of humility as being the result of humiliation: an emotion, often the result of a put-down by another person, by which one feels that one’s social status has decreased or dignity diminished.  It’s not unusual for humiliated people to feel ostracized, “less-than” or rejected by those around them.  This is NOT the Biblical concept of humility. 

If we trace the roots of the English word “humility,” we find that it is derived from the Old French humilité, which in turn comes from the Latin humilis.  Interestingly, the Latin word of “earth” (as in garden soil) is humus – so, the original meaning of the word that we know as “humility” was the quality by which a person realizes that he or she is “from the earth…” (think of the creation story in Genesis 2, where “the Lord God formed man out the clay of the ground” [Gn. 2: 7]).  A humble person, then, knows that he or she has the dignity of being created by God (just like every other human being) and recognizes the proper order by understanding that God is God - and we are not.  A lack of humility, or arrogance, is often then the result of forgetting that proper order and “playing God” in the lives of others – lording it over them, thinking of others as being inferior to ourselves and in essence “humiliating” them. 

True humility is related to a healthy modesty and lack of vanity.  True humility is the virtue by which one recognizes that he or she is a child of God, endowed with various gifts – but is not superior to or better than other human beings.  Humility involves a healthy embrace of the reality of who we are in relation to God and to others.  True humility is anything but self-centered.

C.S. Lewis, the well-known British author of the twentieth century, put it well when he said “True humility is not thinking less of yourself.  It is thinking of yourself less.”

This is the type of humility that Sirach speaks of; this is the type of humility that Jesus illustrates in the parable of today’s Gospel reading (Luke 14:1, 7-14).

As important a virtue as humility is, it’s something that does not seem to be in abundant supply these days.  If we look to leaders in the political and corporate fields, most often we find models of arrogance rather than humility.  Sadly, there are religious leaders as well who display a lack of humility.   

As disciples of Jesus Christ – sons and daughters of a loving Creator-God – we are reminded on this holiday weekend to open ourselves to God’s grace in our lives in order to grow in the virtue of true humility, finding “favor with God” and being “loved more than a giver of gifts.”


Peace and joy in Christ,

Rev. Charles G. Kieffer