Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sunday, September 2 ~ Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Luke 14: 1, 7-14

One sabbath when he went to dine at the house of a ruler who belonged to the Pharisees, they were watching him. ... Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he marked how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, "When you are invited by any one to a marriage feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest a more eminent man than you be invited by him; and he who invited you both will come and say to you, `Give place to this man,' and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, `Friend, go up higher'; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. For every one who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." He said also to the man who had invited him, "When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your kinsmen or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just."

Personal Reflection

My five-year-old daughter regularly tries to attract the attention of grocery store clerks and random strangers. She puts on her best display of silliness and tries to take center stage. When I try to explain that God does not like show-offs, she gives me a confused look. I can hear in her mind, 'But, Jesus wants us to be joyful and bring joy to others.' The lesson her young mind cannot quite grasp is that of this week's Sunday Gospel. We are supposed to demonstrate the source of our joy is Jesus Christ.

Humility does not come naturally to me. We live in a culture saturated with "look at me" phenomenons, including my daughter. It is more natural to want to draw attention to oneself to feel smarter, prettier, sexier, kinder, etc... But, the Lord demands that we take the last seat at the table. How can we do this in our self-centered world?

Do I unnecessarily draw attention to my abilities and accomplishments? Do I brag about myself or my children? When I do draw attention to myself, do I quickly redirect the glory to God? How can I do this better? The Lord wants us to share our joy, yes, but He wants us to do it with humility, remembering He is the source of all.

On the other hand, do I never remark about my family's blessings to avoid drawing attention to myself? Am I "humble" so that people will leave me alone? This is a false humility needing reform. Do I take advantage of opportunities to show how God has worked in my life? These moments can be evangelistic if we let them. How can I declare God's glory without bragging or belittling others?

Do I serve others? As mothers, this answer is inevitably yes, but do I do it with a spirit of humility? Do I change the diapers as part of my day or because it is lowering myself for the sake of my child(ren)? Do I scrub the floors because it is my job or because the Lord, too, washed the feet of his apostles? How can I grow in true humility through my daily duties?

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