Reflection for the Twelfth Sunday After Pentecost

Luke 14:1, 7-14; August 28, 2022

By: The Rev Fr. Rodrigo S. Dolorosa

As Jesus said to the people who were invited to the banquet, "...For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted." He emphasized how humility would take us to higher places, rather than "putting oneself in the platform" right away. We should not anticipate to have others bow down to us just because of our position; also fearing someone might take it away from us, and then we would be making a fool of ourselves. In the modern context, it is better to be "safe than sorry," and to not let our pride take over because this might lead to worse situations.

Being humble does not mean we think less of ourself but it actually means we think of ourself less and give more importance to others. Others will see our genuineness including the Lord. We might not get material things in return, but we would earn the respect and trust. By helping those in need whom we don't know personally, we would be repaid with eternal rewards like love and respect. Serving our loved ones and relatives is nice, but more so if we give genuine concern and charity to those whom we are not blood-related. Getting rewards without expecting them would make us feel an eternal sense of fulfillment.

Lastly, we must pray for those people in power to humble themselves for the sake of the poor; asking for nothing in return. We must also pray for the needy, the crippled, the poor and the disenfranchised that they continue to have faith in God and live more meaningful lives.

Truly humble people recognize their gifts and strengths, and are willing to use them as God dictates. Only God knows if we truly fall into that category; but we should believe that our ministry and secular work are steps in the right direction. We should use our talents at best and to the fullest potential as they are gifts from God, and these benefit others as well as ourselves.

The "right" people will be at God's banquet. They will be everyone responding to God's invitation. The poor and the outcast will be seated next to Jesus, instead of the dignitaries and people of position and prominence. We must not erect social barriers that keep some people from joining us at God's table. The less fortunate in our society need both our natural gifts and the dignity that comes with being acknowledged. They need the gift of our friendship, and likewise we need them as well. At this point in Luke's Gospel, Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem. Along the way, He was showing the disciples who God was and how they were to live a life that reflected the hospitable God. Today, He is teaching us the same lesson. Are we learning this lesson?



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