Gospel Reflection for 22nd Sunday Ordinary Time Year C -August 28th 2016
Now on a sabbath day he had gone for a meal to 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 honour. He said this, ‘When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take your seat in the place of honour. 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 would 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”. 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.’
Then he said to his host, ‘When you give a lunch or a dinner, do not ask your friends, brothers, relations or rich neighbours, for fear they repay your courtesy by inviting you in return. No; when you have a party, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; that they cannot pay you back means that you are fortunate, because repayment will be made to you when the virtuous rise again.’
Luke 14:1. 7-14
The gospel today is about getting the top places, and being invited among important people. We realise that Jesus’ way of looking on what is important is different. The story is about where we get a sense of your own value?
HOW WE FEEL AND THINK ABOUT OURSELVES
Goes back to how we feel and think about ourselves, and where this comes from. We can think we are not much good. Even the church often gave us a poor sense of ourselves.
We bow before God not in lowliness but because we know who we are with God. Real humility is knowing and loving my real self.
We get a sense of who we are from God as well as from love in our lives. The more we know we are loved by God, the more we love ourselves, because God and we are linked in our personalities. Loving God is loving the God within us who loves us!
GOOD SENSE OF SELF
A good sense of self cannot be found without God. The spark of love in each of us is a flame of God. Found also in love, friendship and success but there is a God-given sense of self. Anyone who gives a talk on love of self and human dignity and omits God is like believing the world is square.
We also get a sense of self by our loving others. St Ignatius asked each day, ‘Who can I help today? A memory of doing well for another enhances our view of ourselves.
Our good sense of ourselves is in being loved and loving; of letting God in and going out with him. Bow before communion – in joy and humility.
Fr Donal Neary SJ is editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger