Humility and Witness

first_img 28 Views   no discussions Tweet Share Photo credit: katenasser.comThis weekend I would like to explore two qualities in John the Baptist that are worth noting, namely, his humility and his witness. I am not the one, he made it clear; that someone is coming after me. He is greater than I. I am not worthy to untie his sandal straps, He will do things I cannot do.John was not tempted to detract in any way from the significance of Jesus. He wasn’t the real thing, he insisted; he was just a forerunner — and he was fully content with that. And there you have the first and perhaps the most important element in humility. Humility is standing in the truth. It is being just what you are, and only that, without falsification or distortion. Another way of putting this is to say that humility means a just estimate of oneself. If you were Picasso, for example, it would not a mark of humility to say: “I can just about hold a paint brush.” On the other hand, it would be a mark of humility to say: “I know a few things about painting.” Not ‘everything,’ you note. Who knows everything?The people who enshrine humility and disclose it for the rest of us are people who are really good at what they do (about goodness itself, too) and say ‘all I know is a little about this or a little about that,’ where a little is a great deal. Humility is seeing oneself or evaluating oneself “in the broad scheme of things.” You can see how far removed it is from putting yourself down or making yourself a doormat and letting people walk all over you.John was a humble man. He was also a witness, that is, he publicly attested to what he believed. Witness is a public activity or a public stance. Jesus was therefore a witness. Indeed, from the point of view of faith, he was the primary witness. He who sees me, he said openly, sees the Father. The thief on the cross and the centurion on the ground also gave witness — public testimony — to Jesus crucified.Public witness may or may not involve speech. It does not mean that all you talk about all the time is what you believe. If you did that, people would soon avoid being where you were. They would walk away from the water-cooler when they saw you coming.On the other hand, witness is not silence. It is a public attestation. Thus, I cannot prefer silence to being public. That is close to being ashamed of bearing witness. I must have the courage to speak when speech is required or when speech is necessary.I have always admired street preachers. What they do takes a great deal of courage, considering how easily they are dismissed and how indifferently the public usually treats them.The best witness, of course, is public example. If your public self is genuinely your real self, your witness has integrity. The real self need not be perfect, of course. What matters is approximation. The closer you approximate to your ideals, the more influential your witness becomes.The martyr has always been considered the ideal witness – understandably, of course. When I give my life for what I believe, I give my all. I have nothing left to give.Many people do that too without dying, which is perhaps more routinely difficult witness — the daily witness, one day after another, in public and in private, That is both rare and special, and I am sure we know many people like that. They resemble John the Baptist in that their lives point beyond themselves. They go before the One they serve, and they do so without fuss, in fidelity and humility.By: Father Henry Charles PhD Sharing is caring!center_img Share Share FaithLifestyleLocalNews Humility and Witness by: – December 12, 2011last_img read more

Anthony Davis, LeBron James each get what they need from Lakers pairing

first_img Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers EL SEGUNDO — On Sunday afternoon, Anthony Davis and LeBron James found themselves in the rare position of being at odds.They were shooting 3-pointers from the near corner, opponents in the daily ritual of shooting contests after Lakers practice. As each shot left his fingertips, James screamed – at one point shouting to everyone in the gym: “I’m (expletive) locked in!”At its core, it was all in fun. Davis couldn’t help but laugh, even when he missed a follow-up 3-pointer. The Lakers’ headlining duo can often be found in one another’s company these days, and there are usually plenty of smiles to go around – whether it is filming “Space Jam 2” together; or the reported Italian dinner when James offered (ceremonially) his number to Davis; or in the locker room, where the two are just one empty stall apart by themselves on the far wall.This is not just a bromance: This is a partnership. This is the pairing that LeBron James asked for last winter, publicly sounding the notice that he would like a 6-foot-10 partner in the fold. This is the situation that Davis’ agent, Rich Paul, warned 29 other teams throughout the league that his client wanted – that he’d be hard-pressed to sign an extension anywhere else. When asked how he thought James and Davis were bonding, Danny Green – who has won championships at North Carolina, San Antonio and Toronto in his basketball career – brought up, unprompted, Davis’ ability to rise to James’ level as a key factor of the team. That kind of accountability at the top, he suggested, could trickle down to the rest of the roster.“His leadership of challenging LeBron – that’s gonna be huge,” Green said. “I’m interested to see where it goes, where it takes us. I know it’s gonna take us to good places because of how well they challenge each other.”Davis has gained the teammate to help carry the load that he’s always wanted – a superstar who has won before, who he expects to help lead him down the path in turn. James gained the co-star he wanted, but it might just be the accountability partner he needed.It’s something everyone will be watching closely – the Lakers most of all.“The on-the-court chemistry has looked great at times and still has a way to go at times,” Vogel said Monday after the team’s final full practice before Tuesday’s regular-season opener against the Clippers. “That’s to be expected with two players of that magnitude playing with each other for the first time. It’ll be a work in progress throughout the year but hopefully we hit the ground running tomorrow night.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersIf the chemistry turns out as hoped between the stars, the big winner will be the Lakers, who have leveraged their future on their two stars meshing. Every team paints a rosy picture in the preseason – but so far, signs have pointed to James and Davis’ joint venture having legs.“We’re always learning each other,” Davis said. “The more and more we get a chance to play alongside each other, the better we’re gonna be.”In forcing a trade from New Orleans, Davis passed up an opportunity at an estimated $240 million supermax contract that would have made him one of the most handsomely paid players in NBA history. But Davis has said before that he would choose winning over money – something backed up by those who have known him for years.John Calipari, who coached Davis’ Kentucky squad to the 2012 NCAA title, recalls how the one-and-done star couldn’t score a bucket in the first half against Kansas. With their best player locked up on offense, the locker room was stewing before Davis piped up.“He starts telling the team, ‘I can’t make baskets. I can’t make any basket. I’m gonna help you guys make shots,’” Calipari recounted. “Ended up being 1 for 10, but led us in assists, rebounds and blocked shots. Winning really means everything to him. I swear there will never be another Anthony Davis.”center_img The subtext of the anecdote, however, is that Davis thrived for a Kentucky roster that produced five other NBA draft picks (although almost all have since been drummed out of the league). Even though he was the leader of the team, during the Wildcats’ most important game of the season, he needed help – Doron Lamb’s 22 points, Marquis Teague’s 14, or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s 11. Davis still did enough (16 rebounds, six blocked shots, five assists) on the court to be the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player, but he still needed a cast around him when he was 1 for 10.He lacked that in New Orleans, which couldn’t build on its momentum after finally winning a playoff series in 2018. In the games leading up to his trade demand in January, the Pelicans had a hard enough time winning when Davis had a big game and fell apart when their start couldn’t deliver. New Orleans was 18-15 when Davis scored 25 or more points, and just 4-10 when he scored fewer or was unable to play.James will be by far Davis’ most accomplished teammate so far. Some sense of burden seemed lifted last Wednesday, when Davis was largely the second fiddle to James in a 126-93 preseason shakedown of Golden State.“I was joking with LeBron earlier – I said it’s the first time in a while where I can have five or six points, whatever it was, at halftime and we’re up 30,” he said. “It feels good knowing that you don’t have to do much, everybody has a role and when you have guys all over the board who can score the basketball, you don’t need to do everything every possession.Then, Davis added the most telling line of all: “It feels good to be able to just, you know, fit in.”That’s something James can understand from his own career: Back in 2010, when Davis was a 17-year-old teenager at one of James’ camps, James left his native Ohio and the Cavaliers to team up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami seeking more help to win a then-elusive NBA title.When presented with the parallels, James bristled. He compared the scrutiny of the Heat’s Big Three to scorching weather, as he was castigated by hometown fans and NBA observers alike for wanting to team up with other stars. James’ own legacy has changed the times of the league, which now routinely sees its best players get together – James said of Davis’ circumstances: “It’s a very nice 68 (degrees). Fan on medium. L.A. weather. It’s perfect.”However, James will acknowledge his pairing with Davis is like his Heat team in one way.“Just for us to be able to challenge each other, that’s one thing that’s for sure the same. Me challenging D-Wade, D-Wade challenging me, Chris Bosh, and then me challenging A.D., A.D. challenging me. That is definitely the same.”In this factor alone, this season is very different from the last. Within the Lakers’ locker room, virtually no one had the footing to keep James accountable on the court. Coach Luke Walton battled job insecurity nearly from the opening tip, and James’ teammates on the roster ranged from young, unestablished players who were meant to be learning from him to veterans who didn’t rise to his stature.There were times when that strain leaked through, particularly on a host of defensive clips last season when James didn’t stick to his assignment, or in the poor body language that led to frustration among the team in February as the Lakers were dropping out of the playoff race.In the nearly 80 minutes James was on the court during four preseason games, the Lakers had a 91.5 defensive rating, and showed an attentiveness that only came in spurts last season. While acknowledging that he’s seen clips of James’ defensive lapses, Avery Bradley said that’s not the James he’s seen in practice or the preseason.“LeBron is the leader on both ends of the floor for our team, and I feel like he helps put us in great spots,” Bradley said. “He’s gonna make our defense that much stronger this year with his talk on the defensive end.”It’s expected that under a coach like Frank Vogel, who boasts a track record of elite defenses in Indiana, the team would show more intensity on that end of the floor. But James, Davis and their Lakers teammates have all talked about the importance of Davis’ ability to challenge James and call him out when needed as a catalyzing factor.Related Articles Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more