This is a syndicated post from Daily Meditations with Fr. Alfonse. [Read the original article...]
Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
(Click here for readings)
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 table. “When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not recline at table in the place of honor….the host who invited you may approach you and say, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then you would proceed with embarrassment to take the lowest place.”
Once upon a time, there was a poor man named Robert Miles. He walked into a New York City convenient store to purchase a scratch-off lottery ticket. It turns out he was a winner. But the owners of the convenience store, two brothers (Andy and Nayel Ashkar), convinced poor Robert that he had only won five thousand dollars. So they took the lottery ticket away from Robert and gave him four thousand dollars in cash and sent him away.
When the two brothers came forward with the winning ticket, lottery officials awarded them five million dollars. Robert Miles couldn’t believe it and wept bitterly. He thought to himself, “Who would believe a poor man from New York City.”
Unfortunately, this isn’t a fairy-tale. It’s a true story.
But fortunately, like a fairy-tale, it has a very happy ending.
After six years and a lengthy legal battle, Robert Miles was awarded five million dollars. One of the two brothers, Andy Ashkar, was found guilty of possessing stolen property and sentenced to 8 1/3-to-25 years in prison.
End of story…for now.
Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, everyone who humbles himself will be exalted.
Who then is the humble person?
St. Francis of Assisi was a humble man because he was a rich man; that is, he took his wealth and gave it away.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is a humble man because he once sat in St. Peter’s chair and left it behind.
Pope Francis is a humble man, for he reaches out to people as often as people reach out to him…and maybe even more. He is the first Pope to ever appear in a selfie.
Apparently, to be humble requires three things: (1) to hold some position of authority; (1) to not let it go to your head; and (3) to trust a lot in God.
Taking the lowest place. It’s not very clear how things turned out after Jesus spoke this parable at the home of one of the leading Pharisees. I wouldn’t be surprised if the meal came to an abrupt end.
Christ is humble not only because He is God, but because He is Jesus of Nazareth. He came down from heaven to “hell” to be with us.
Being God did not go to His head. On the contrary, it went through his feet, his hands and his side.
Jesus said, “Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart.” The Lord is truly meek and humble of heart because He has nothing to gain from us.
His love for us is a mystery: He thinks we are worth it.
What the Lord so beautifully teaches us, and what often times takes us a lifetime to learn, is that the more humble you are, the more powerful; the more meaningful; the more relevant; and the more memorable you become.
“My child, conduct your affairs with humility, and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts” (Sir 3:17). (122)
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