Humus, Humans and Humility


by Brenna Davis

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Editor's note: Welcome to Lenten Daily Food Reflections! These daily reflections on food, faith, climate and our lives will provide spiritual sustenance for the Lenten journey. They are inspired by the Lenten Food Waste Fast at the Ignatian Solidarity Network. 



"The LORD God formed man out of the clay of the ground

and blew into his nostrils the breath of life,

and so man became a living being."

— Genesis 2:7

"By the sweat of your face

    you shall eat bread

until you return to the ground,

    for out of it you were taken;

you are dust,

    and to dust you shall return."

— Genesis 3:19

Humus is the Latin word for earth (a rich and nutrient-filled soil) and is also the root word for human. Humility is derived from the same word, humilitas, one who is grounded or near to the earth. Fittingly, the second creation story tells us that humans were created from the earth, soil, humus and given God’s breath of life. 

On Ash Wednesday we hear, "Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return." A reminder that we are tied closely to the earth and depend on her richness and God to sustain us during our earthly sojourn. 

What seeds are being planted in the rich humus of your spirit as we enter into Lent? How might you practice humility in your relationship with the earth and humanity?


Touch a piece of ground today and say a prayer of thanksgiving to God for its sustaining power.

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