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Have you ever, inadvertently maybe, sat in a place that was not intended for you…maybe in Church or at a wedding party? It is certainly a very embarrassing situation. No doubt red cheeks arise and your eyes are lowered. Well, Jesus used this kind of situation in His parable in this Sunday’s Gospel.[1]

When you are a guest, make your way to the lowest place and sit there, so that, when your host comes, he may say, ‘My friend, move up higher.’ In that way, everyone with you at the table will see you honoured.
For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the man who humbles himself will be exalted
.”[2]

This is more than just a lesson about dinner etiquette. It is advice on how to find your true place in the Kingdom of God.[3] And humility is certainly a virtue that is needed!

Humility as defined by the Catechism is The virtue by which a Christian acknowledges that God is the author of all good. Humility avoids inordinate ambition or pride, and provides the foundation for turning to God in prayer. Voluntary humility can be described as ‘poverty of spirit’.”[4]

Pride can affect us all. In today’s society we are called to be always the top dog and there is certainly no room for humility. G.K. Chesterton understood the problem of pride and said, “If I had only one sermon to preach it would be a sermon against pride.[5]

Humble people are not like the Dickens character Uriah Heep for Real humility is living in the truth of who we are before God and who we are in relationship to one another.[6]

St. Augustine in his Confessions (and whose Feast we celebrate today, the 28th August), explains that Christian love begins and builds on the “foundation of humility which is Christ Jesus.”[7]

When you sit down at the banquet of heaven, pride will not be in your heart, only humility, for there will only be reserved places for the humble and lowly.

Sr. Rosaleen Shaw OP

 


[1] Lk.14:1;7-11

[2] Lk.14:10-11

[3] https://www.loyolapress.com/our-catholic-faith/liturgical-year/sunday-connection/22nd-sunday-in-ordinary-time-c-sunday-connection

[4] Catechism of the Catholic Church 2559 & 2546

[5] https://www.catholicstand.com/humility-and-pride-virtue-and-vice/

[6] https://christdesert.org/2004/08/homily-for-22nd-sunday-of-ordinary-time-cycle-c/

[7] St. Augustine, Confessions, trans. Henry Chadwick (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991, p.130


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