TWENTY SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
(Green) Cycle C/Year I (August 28, 2016)
Sir 3:17-18/Heb 12:18-19, 22-24/Lk 14:1, 7-14
In the gospel, Jesus advises His disciples to take the lowest place whenever they attend a banquet. In this way, they will avoid embarrassment if another guest is invited who is more distinguished than they are. Moreover, they will gain more honor if they are told to occupy a more distinguished seat.
Jesus Christ demands humility from His disciples and this is understandable because Jesus Himself is a humble person. He is the Son of God, and therefore God, yet He humbled Himself and did not deem equality with God. Being God, He assumed the human nature and became one of us, a man in every sense of the word. More than that, He was born of a poor family, in a stable for there was no place for Him in an inn. He became a commoner, an ordinary carpenter and lived a simple life. He died on the cross as a criminal even though He was innocent and He died without anything. Moreover, He instituted the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist in which He becomes totally present in His body and blood in the form of bread and wine. Whenever we partake in this sacred meal in the Holy Communion, Jesus submits Him into our powerful hands.
Humility is a divine characteristic which is manifested in the life of Jesus Christ. For this reason, God is pleased with the humble persons. Humility is also the way of God. Since God is the highest of all beings, there is no other way for Him to communicate with other beings except to humble Himself. Consequently, to encounter God, the only way is humility.
A lot of us want to become great like God. We inherit such desire from Adam and Eve who also wanted to be like God. But their way to acquire greatness was through pride which was manifested in their disobedience. Consequently, we all fell together with them and did not acquire greatness. God saved us through Jesus who showed us the way to God: humility manifested in obedience.
Jesus Christ is instructing us that if we want to encounter God and be like Him, if we want honor and greatness, we must take the lowest place, that is, we must humble ourselves. To humble ourselves means to see ourselves as inferior to others and to see others as superior to us in one way or another. This means that we must treat others with respect whoever they are. Moreover, we must always be obedient to the good laws of the civil society and most especially to the divine and ecclesiastical precepts. Let us ask the intercession of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, who was always obedient to God’s will and who was humble as the handmaid of God. Through her prayers, may we become always obedient to God and humble in our dealings with others.