Father Kyle Bell

Opening Our Hearts to Receive Good Things

Caption: During their priesthood ordination in 2018, Father Kyle Bell, Father Lou Turcotte, and Father Tim Williford lay prostrate on the floor of the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle. 

"For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted." (Luke 14:11)

There is a powerful moment in every ordination Mass when the men to be ordained prostrate themselves on the marble floor of the cathedral and the people sing the Litany of the Saints.  I remember that in the days leading up to my own ordination, it was impressed upon us that in this moment, with His soon-to-be priests humbly laying their lives down (literally) for Him, the Father will refuse nothing of His sons. Nothing moves the Father’s heart quite like humility.

In today’s Gospel, the Church invites us to embrace humility as a means, not just of growing in holiness, but of approaching our God. Humility rightly orders us, placing us as creature under the Creator, and opening our hearts to receive the good things our heavenly Father wishes to bestow. Humility acknowledges our poverty, and as we are reminded in our Responsorial Psalm, God has made a home for the poor. Our God is the One who sees poverty and whose heart is moved with compassion. Even so, many of us (myself included) have a complicated relationship with humility.  We acknowledge the goodness and beauty of humility, and yet we often fear to be humbled.  Today we are reminded that the very humility that we struggle to embrace is the very humility that makes us beautiful in the eyes of God; the very poverty we would rather forget is the very poverty that the Father’s heart finds irresistible.

What is holding me back from living humility today?

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, hear me. (Opening line of the Litany of Humility)

Father Kyle Bell is from Tampa, Florida. He was raised in the United Methodist Church and became a Catholic in 2007. He holds degrees from Florida State University, The Franciscan University of Steubenville, St. John Vianney College Seminary, and St Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary. He was ordained to the priesthood in 2018 and serves as Director of the Catholic Student Center at USF the University of South Florida.