Sunday, August 28, 2016

"Pride is concerned with who is right. Humility is concerned with what is right."

If we were but conscious of our own utter littleness, we would not dare look with contempt on the smallest atom in the world. ~ Charles Lanman: (1850 –1941: was an American scholar)

Gospel Text: (LK 14:1, 7-14)
On a sabbath Jesus went to dine
at the home of one of the leading Pharisees,
and the people there were observing him carefully.

He told a parable to those who had been invited,
noticing how they were choosing the places of honor at the table.
“When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet,
do not recline at table in the place of honor.
A more distinguished guest than you may have been invited by him,
and the host who invited both of you may approach you and say,
‘Give your place to this man,’
and then you would proceed with embarrassment
to take the lowest place.
Rather, when you are invited,
go and take the lowest place
so that when the host comes to you he may say,
‘My friend, move up to a higher position.’
Then you will enjoy the esteem of your companions at the table.
For every one who exalts himself will be humbled,
but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Then he said to the host who invited him,
“When you hold a lunch or a dinner,
do not invite your friends or your brothers
or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors,
in case they may invite you back and you have repayment.
Rather, when you hold a banquet,
invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind;
blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you.
For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

The way of union with God is the way of humility, a lesson taught to us by Jesus not just by his teaching but by his very life.  Paul summarizes this beautifully in his letter to the Philippians:

"Though being divine in nature, he did not claim equality with God, but emptied himself, taking on the nature of a servant, made in human likeness, and in his appearance found as a man.  He humbled himself by being obedient to death, death on the cross. That is why God exalted him and gave him the Name which outshines all names.  " (Phil 2: 6 – 9)

Seeing how the dinner guests prefer the places of honor, Jesus' words and parable in the Gospel reading teach us about true humility.  Jesus teaches us to see ourselves as how we really are; better Jesus teaches us to see ourselves as God sees us.  

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