Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time – C

Readings: Sir 3:17-18,20,28-29; Ps 68:4-5, 6-7, 10-11; Heb 12:18-19,22-24; Luke 14:1,7-14

HUMILITY

Fr Cajetan Lobo … on his ordination day he invited to his home all the poor people from near and far to take part in his celebration. This was not heard of at that time and above all in his family too. This event took place in the early half of the 1900’s. Till today many remember this noble deed, the humility of the young priest. He became a model for some youngsters of his place to do the same for their celebrations too.

It is also said: Do well to those who cannot repay you at all. The reward is much greater and lasting.

Being humble implies
- In humility one will be simple
- One will not be worried about position
- One will only seek the good of others, their welfare

“Would you like to see God glorified by you? Then rejoice in your brothers progress and you will immediately give glory to God. [CCC 2540]

The person of Mother Theresa is the best we have today, it was because of her great humility to work and be for the poor and fulfil their I Thirst Desire; today she is a saint.

First Reading: Over all, the Book of Sirach places great emphasis on the virtue of humility and shows great sympathy to poor people and the oppressed.

Second Reading, taken from Hebrews, gives another reason for us to be humble. Jesus was humble, so his followers are expected to be humble, trying to imitate his humility. Paul reminds us that Jesus was lowly, particularly in his suffering and death for our salvation (Heb 2:5-18), so we should be like him in order to be exalted with him at the resurrection of the righteous. Paul also seems to imply that we need to follow Christ’s example of humility in our relationships with the less fortunate members of our society.

What is humility? Is it to make us inferior to others? That we are no longer valuable? It is not. This word comes from the Latin word humus which means ‘fertile soil’. In other words, to be humble is to be ready to accept who we are with our talents, abilities and limitations or weaknesses. God creates us equal and no one is superior. It means just like Jesus Christ, we also say: “Learn from me for I am gentle and humble of heart.” It also means that we should live a life that Jesus lived – a person for others. We are the hands, the feet and the mouth of Jesus. Each one of us will become Christ for others. We will use our talents and gifts not for ourselves but for those who need them most.

There is a story of three persons boasting to each other about who had the best Bible. The first said: “Mine is the best translation because this is the New American Bible. This is being used in the Mass. The words used are modern and easy to understand.” The second man boasted: “Mine is the best because this is the Jerusalem Bible. It is very poetic and it is used in our charismatic group meeting.” The third man said: “I like the Bible translation of my mother because she translated it into her concrete life, she lives everything written on it.” The other two were silent.

The story summarizes the challenge of Jesus Christ in our Gospel today. Jesus challenges us to translate the Word of God into our daily lives. He challenges us to make the Bible alive in our hearts, minds and deeds. This is one way of being humble.

“My son, conduct your affairs with humility and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts,” (Sir 3:17).

What are some other character traits of a humble person?

1. The humble can always ask for help, and they don’t insist on everything being done their way.

2. They are quick to forgive others, difficult to offend, and content to wait on God for vindication when they have been wronged.

3. They are patient and don’t get frustrated with the weaknesses of others (Galatians 6:2).

4. The humble person is a peacemaker. In fact, we need humility to maintain peace in our lives. Romans 12:16 is one of my favorite scriptures. It says, “Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty…but readily adjust yourself to [people, things] and give yourselves to humble tasks. Never overestimate yourself.”
Wow! Just imagine if we all decided to adopt just this one command from the Bible. If you’re like me, so many times you might feel like saying, “My way or the highway!” But there’s a better way…a way that leads to peace with ourselves and others.

5. A humble person knows when to be quiet. It’s certainly not wrong to talk, but a humble person is comfortable allowing others to have center stage and doesn’t feel the need to speak their mind in every situation.

6. A humble person sees his own weaknesses and can readily admits them. When we open up to others about ourselves, it can actual encourage and help them realize they’re not the only ones who deal with things.

Dave is very easy going and has what I call “quiet faults,” meaning most people don’t immediately see them. I, on the other hand, have “loud faults” – some of my greatest struggles have been with my mouth! Now, I certainly don’t take joy in Dave’s weaknesses, but it does help on occasion for someone like me to know that he’s working on things too.

7. A humble person happily serves other people, and they don’t do it to be seen. They do it for God, knowing their reward will come from God.

8. A humble person is very thankful. This is one reason why they’re usually so happy. When we live with an attitude of gratitude, it releases joy and power into our lives.

9. A humble person has a tender conscience and is quick to repent.

10. A leader who is truly humble treats everyone with respect. How a leader treats people is the quickest way to find out their level of humility.

The Eucharist that we celebrate tells us of; the lowly servant of God, who is exalted by God and adored by us. Humility gives of oneself and Christ gives us His total self, human and divine. It is in following in His footsteps that we not only grow and have our being, but become great. It is then at this holy banquet, we who humble ourselves, will hear Jesus coming to each of us and saying: ‘FRIEND GO UP HIGHER.”


Fr. Franco Pereira, S.D.B.

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