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22nd Sunday of the Year

22nd Sunday of the Year – C

 

Dear friends in Christ,

This week’s gospel reading continues the teaching of Jesus in last Sunday’s gospel, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate.” It is about humility.

This is what St. Paul wrote about Jesus: “Though he was in the form of God, he did not deem equality with God something to be grasped at. Rather, he emptied himself and took the form of a slave.” Quite often during his

public ministry, Jesus taught about humility as an important requirement for discipleship. Jesus lived humbly and taught humility. He said to the disciples, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart.” One is humble when he is neither proud nor arrogant or

self-assured, but being submissive, unassuming and dependent on God. Being humble simply means living out the truth in one’s life. Humility gives us a true estimate of ourselves so we can be true to our dignity as images of God.

In the gospel today Jesus said to the dining guests, “Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted.” He was not teaching social behaviors at table, but he pointed out the fact that God only invites into membership of his Kingdom those who are humble enough to recognize their need of salvation.

How meaningful it is at the beginning of each Mass, all who are present are called to make a public confession of their own sinfulness, and to ask Mary, all the angels and saints, and one another to pray to God for forgiveness. This beautiful act of humility that we make before God and neighbors at each spiritual banquet, the Eucharist, reminds us that we stand all equal in need of God and his mercy.

Today, the Book of Sirach gives us the advice: “My child, conduct your affairs with humility, and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts, and you will find favor with God.” Humility is the basic Christian virtue. And the great source of humility is love.

 

Fr. Joe