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Homilies :: Latin Rite
Sunday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Download This Homily

September 1, 2019

Sunday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time

 

Sir 3: 17-18, 20, 28-29

Psalm 68:4-5ab, 6-7ab, 10-11

Heb 12: 18-19, 22-24

Lk 14: 1, 7-14

 

Gospel Reading

 

It happened that on a Sabbath day Jesus had gone to share a meal in the house of one of the leading Pharisees and they watched Him closely. He then told the guests a parable because He had noticed how they picked the places of honor. He said this: "When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take your seat in the place of honor. A more distinguished person than you may have been invited, and the person who invited you both may come and say, "Give up your place to this man." And then, to your embarrassment, you will have to go and take the lowest place.


No, 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." Then, everyone with you at the table will see you honored.


For everyone who raises himself up will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be raised up."

 

Reflection

 

HUMILITY-A HALLMARK OF GREATNESS

 

Booker T. Washington, a renowned black educator, was the president of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. One day when he was walking in an exclusive section of the town he was stopped by a wealthy white woman. Not knowing the famous Mr. Washington by sight, she asked if he would like to earn a few dollars by chopping wood for her. Because he had no pressing business at the moment, Professor Washington smiled, rolled up his sleeves, and proceeded to do the humble chore she had requested. When he was finished, he carried the logs into the house and stacked them by the fireplace. A little girl recognized him and later revealed his identity to the lady.


The next morning the embarrassed woman went to see Mr. Washington in his office at the Institute and apologized profusely. "It’s perfectly all right, Madam," he replied. "Occasionally I enjoy a little manual labor. Besides, it’s always a delight to do something for a friend." She shook his hand warmly and assured him that his meek and gracious attitude had endeared him and his work to her heart. Not long afterward she showed her admiration by persuading some wealthy acquaintances to join her in donating thousands of dollars to the Tuskegee Institute.


We might have heard many real stories like this in lives of great men and women. Great personalities are very often compared to a tree full of fruits. We might have observed that the branches of mango trees with full of trees naturally bent. In the same way the great achievers in life always think their achievement is very insignificant compared the vast scope and possibility. They also think that there could be many more persons better than them. We read in today’s Gospel Jesus instructing his disciples that when invited for a dinner they should not sit down in the best place because it could happen that someone more important than them would have been invited. On the other hand if they sit in the last raw the host would come take them to the first raw. Thus they will be honoured.


Through this very simple parable Jesus teaches us that we should have a realistic self assessment of ourselves. Humility is not deprecating oneself; on the other hand it is accepting the truth. The traits of a humble person could be the following.


Recognizing virtues and talents that others possess, particularly those that surpass one’s own, and giving due honour and appreciation.


Recognizing the limits of one’s talents, ability, or authority; and, not reaching for what is beyond one’s grasp. In other words it is accepting one’s own weaknesses and limitations.


The humble man feels no jealousy or envy. He/she is able to praise God when others are preferred and blessed before him.


Humility is not only a sign of a great person, but it is also a route to growth and development. In project planning and evaluation methodology a scientific tool called SWOT Analysis is used. This tool consists of first identifying the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of a project or organization. The second step is making plans to convert the weaknesses into strengths in view of making use of the opportunities. This tool can be easily applied to the evaluation of oneself and preparing a plan to develop oneself. Humility helps a person to become aware of his weaknesses and make plans to convert the weaknesses into strengths. On the other hand a proud person who is not ready to accept his weaknesses in fact refuses to grow and the result will be stagnation and frustration in life. Now the question is “Am I humble enough to accept my weaknesses and transform them into pathways of growth and progress”? God’s grace will definitely be with those persons who say “yes” to the question.

 

Fr. Jacob Peenikaparambil CMI


Homilies Navchetana Apps, the first of its kind is produced and published by Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India to assist the clergy to preach the World of God and also as a handy spiritual resource for the people of God to reflect on the daily spiritual passages at their convenience. You can download this on your Android phone from Google play and you can see the Gospel reflections of the whole year. The size of this app is just 2.5 MB. We welcome your suggestions and contributions to server you better.

May God Bless you

Fr. James M L CMI

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Homilies Navchetana is an initiative of Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India. We have been sending the Sunday and daily homilies last four years. We are grateful to you for your cooperation and encouraging comments. Navchetana is committed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through modern media and performing arts. Through our Web TV, audio and video productions and stage programmes we take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission.


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