Gospel: Luke 14:1, 7-11
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 everyone who exalts himself will be humbled,
but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
The Mass intention is for Fanny Bagnall RIP (9.30 am) and Mr & Mrs Bolak RIP (5.00 pm, Our Lady’s).
In our contemporary world, being competitive is important. It is a must that we outdo our colleagues so that we get the manager’s attention, get promoted, get a pay rise, etc. At times, such competitiveness can be ugly with competitors resorting to backbiting, fake news, and other unprofessional behaviour. Communities are not spared from such atmosphere. With pride comes envy, bigotry, lack of respect, etc. If these are not nipped in the bud, communities will fall apart.
The Lord’s teaching of taking the lowest place, according to a commentary, is a great relief because “[I]t reveals that we don’t have to compete for God’s favour; self-assertiveness and touting our human importance are not required for God to bless us.” When Nida and I attended our pre-wedding seminar, Msgr Nestor Cerbo (who was Rector of the Manila Cathedral where we were married) told us that the only competition we must engage in is to outdo each other in love (Romans 12:10). This holds true to all Christians. If we all do our bit in giving love, not out of obligation but purely because we love, the world would be a better place to live. The world, brought down on its knees by the pandemic and all, would keep on hoping for the Lord to “look on His servant in her lowliness” (Luke 1:48).
- How do you compete with others?
- Who is your model of humility? Why or why not?
- “If God uses me for great things, He should be praised and thanked for making use of such a poor instrument, but I myself am not on that account any better.” (St Claude La Colombiere) How do you see yourself after making a great accomplishment?
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your Word today. Through the prayers and example of Mama Mary, help us acknowledge You as the source of all goodness and praise You for the greatness You have done in our lives. Amen.