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8/28/16 Twenty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time - Fr. James

In today's gospel, Jesus prepares us with some good advice about ways to be a guest and ways to be a host. As God's guests in this world, we should act humbly and remember that we are always in the presence of someone greater than we are. As hosts of God's people, we should offer hospitality to those who cannot reward us.

It is typical human attitude to get the best spot and to be the first in everything. But Jesus reminds us this attitude is not worthy of the kingdom of God. In a way, he is urging his listeners and us now to humble ourselves. Humility is one of the essential attitudes we need to cultivate and practice now to get a spot in the feast of the kingdom of God. St Augustinewrote: ‘Humility is the foundation of all the other virtues.’

One important way to learn humility is learning from Jesus Christ. He said: ‘Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart.’(Mt 11: 29) This is only thing Jesus asked us to learn from Him because it is very essential to be part of kingdom of God and also it is very difficult practice in one’s life. So Jesus has shown this in his life.

Jesus humbled himself by being born in a poor village Bethlehem; becoming a carpenter; choosing apostles and disciples who were "lowborn and despised" by the world; washing the feet of His apostles; freely letting Himself suffer crucifixion. Jesus has humbled Himself by giving Himself to us in Holy Communion.

Another way to be humble is to listen to Jesus saying to us in the gospel: ‘When you are invited for a wedding feast, do not take your seat in the place of honor.’ Choosing the lowest place means, share our meals with the poor or handicapped, forgive our enemies, confess our sins, look like a fool for Christ, and be persecuted for proclaiming the Gospel. Our lifestyle should be such a way that the weak and under privileged people of the society should feel comfortable being with us.

Another way to be humble is to understand that “true humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is freedom from thinking about yourself at all.’ Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, ‘if you are humble nothing will touch you neither praise nor disgrace because you know what you are.’

Being humble means being aware that everything we have is a gift from God, and, therefore, we have no reason to boast. We must not use these God-given gifts to elevate ourselves above others. It is the proper understanding of our own worth. It requires us neither to overestimate nor to underestimate our worth.

It also means that we should live a life that Jesus lived – a person for others. We will use our talents and gifts not for ourselves but for those who need them most. This means listening to people, taking on their comments, their criticisms at times and learn from them, and strive to become a better person.


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