Autor: Fr. Richard Gill, LC | Fuente: Sacerdos Institute 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C
September 2, 2007. Homily. Readings: Sirach 3:1718, 20, 2829; Hebrews 12:1819, 2224; Luke 14:1, 714.
22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle C Readings: Sirach 3: 1718,
20, 2829; Hebrews 12: 1819, 2224; Luke 14: 1, 714 Author:
Fr. Richard Gill, LC
THEME OF THE READINGS A major theme of
this weeks readings is the need for humility before God.
Sirach describes the virtues of the humble man and the
Letter to the Hebrews points out the circumstances of the
revelation of the first covenant on Sinai, where God delivered
to Moses his expectations of the people he would choose
as his own, and the blessing it would mean for
them. The Alleluia verse speaks of the revelation to the
little ones while St. Lukes Gospel exhorts us to choose
the lowest place rather than exalt ourselves and to live
with purity of intention - serving others without expecting anything
DOCTRINAL MESSAGE It is difficult to overstate the
importance of the virtue of humility in Jesus teaching for
those who would follow him. It is essential in order
to walk in his footsteps and to receive his teaching
in its fullness. Over and over he tells us that,
unless you become like little children, you will not enter
the Kingdom of Heaven. We need to be humble not
only to obey God, but even to hear his voice
and understand his Word. The qualities associated with humility are
meekness, discretion, docility, and simplicity of heart.
This is a
teaching that is difficult to communicate in a culture that
emphasizes self-assertion, pride, arrogance, and self-promotion. Our world is one
in which it seems counter-intuitive to stress simplicity and meekness.
After all, well be stepped on and trampled! Humility seems
to be a virtue for losers and those who cant
achieve. It seems no one gets ahead in business by
being humble, but rather by selling himself, even if it
means exaggerating ones qualities.
The New Covenant brings about a
change in the way we interact with God. He is
no longer the one who gives his Law from Mt.
Sinai amidst peals of thunder and lightning, but Jesus, the
author of the new law of love promulgated by the
sacrificial pouring out of his blood on Mt. Zion. The
Law to which we must humbly turn our attention and
receive is the law of love made perfect in the
sacrifice of Christ. It is the completion of all previous
revelation and brings it all to perfection.
Christ means living the life he lived, one which was
characterized by attentive obedience to the will of his Heavenly
Father in all things. He embraced the Cross as his
Fathers plan to save mankind. Christ did not humble himself
as a mere slave, but as the Beloved Son of
the Father, in whom he was well pleased. Thus his
humility flows from his exalted status as Son of the
Thanks to the incarnation and the establishment of
the New Covenant, we are no longer called servants, but
friends. The humility we are called to live is in
the context of our adopted sonship, as heirs of the
Kingdom. This new status we have as sons in the
Son gives the context for the new kind of humility
and charity we are to live.
The Gospel makes
this way of life explicit in its practical forms: to
look upon ourselves as having received everything we are and
have from its true source, God, and acknowledge him as
the giver of all blessings. We should choose the lowest
place and never think of ourselves as better than anyone
else, for all we are is due to Gods grace.
Likewise, we should give what we have and share
it with others less fortunate, not in any self-centered, calculated,
or utilitarian way, seeking our own personal advantage, but freely
and simply. The humble man should live with such purity
of intention that he seeks only to please God and
find his reward in the life to come, living each
day to serve and love his brothers in Christ.
Someone once said there is a world of difference between
the person who sees life as a gift and the
one who sees life as a given. The one who
sees life as a given feels he has a right
to take his share and grab for all he can.
But the giftedness of our life our very existence,
our life, our health, our family, friends, our call to
eternal life, Gods grace and blessing on us makes a
person live with a stance of humility and gratitude for
all he has received from the Lord. As Mary said
in her Magnificat, the Almighty has done great things for
me, holy is his Name.
PASTORAL APPLICATIONS The prayer of St. Ignatius
is very helpful in fostering the virtue of humility and
disposing us to charity and obedience to Gods will:
and receive All my liberty My memory, my understanding, and my whole
will. All that I am, and all that I possess, you
have given me. I surrender it all to you, to be
disposed of according to your most holy will. Give me only
your love and your grace. With these I will be
rich enough, and will desirenothing more.
We must see all
we have as a gift from God and never attribute
to ourselves, independently of his grace, anything we have achieved.
This is the way to form our hearts in humble
gratitude and to live with that peace of heart that
only true Christian humility can bring us.
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