Saturday of the Thirtieth Week of Ordinary Time

Today’s readings

“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled,
but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

This is the second time this week that we have heard these words.  The first was on Sunday, in connection with the Pharisee and the tax collector praying in the temple.  Then, on Wednesday, we heard something very similar: “For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”  If we miss the opportunity to grow in humility this week, then we are in serious trouble indeed!

Think about what Jesus is asking the guests of the leading Pharisee to do.  He wasn’t just asking them to give their place to some other leading Pharisee, or someone socially more important than they were.  No, he was asking them to do something far more difficult: the “more distinguished” one among them was one who was in need or marginalized, people we would have a hard time greeting, let alone giving them our place at the dinner table.

Think about going to a banquet and giving your honored place to someone homeless, an immigrant, a foster teenager – would you be so ready to even have dinner with these people?  Think about actually moving over to give them the honored place!  And Jesus has the audacity to ask us to do just that.

Jesus humbled himself to become something far less than what he was, so that we could become far more than we could ever be.  He certainly has the right to ask us to do the same so that God’s will would be done on earth as it is in heaven.

So who is God going to call us to minister to in some deed of generosity or word of encouragement or act of forgiveness today?  Will we be able to give our place to these people?  Will we be humble enough to move over so that they can move up?  If so, maybe we will find that God will exalt us all.

“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled,
but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

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