Gospel, September 01, 2019

In the twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time, the first reading comes from the Book of Sirach (3:17-18, 20, 28-29). Sirach represents an amalgamation of the wise man’s keen insights on the Torah, on other sacred writings, on wisdom and maxims for sensible, successful living of a well-disciplined, moral life.  The context of today’s reading is that of a parent counseling his child in the fine art of dealing with other people. In his exhortation regarding humility the author praised the value of a modest, gentle life, free of pretentiousness and excessive ambitiousness. Humility is the ultimate act of faith in which the believer abandons the self to the will and care for God.

The second reading comes from the Book of Hebrews (12:18-19, 22-24). This reading contrasts the law and the Gospel. The old law took place on earth; the new law resides in heaven. The author speaks to those who have already won the benefits of heaven through Jesus’ paschal mystery, but are still in their earthly stay. Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, ascension, and sending of the Spirit in Jerusalem inaugurated the new word.   

The Gospel Reading is from the Gospel of Luke (14:1, 7-14). All of Chapter 14 is a lesson in humility and probably the clearest statement from Jesus on the subject, "For everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled and he who humbles himself shall be exalted," in the eyes of God. Humility makes us recognize who we are in the eyes of God and what God is in our life and then recognizing that all of our possessions, talents and good qualities are God's gifts to us. What we do with them is our gift to God. In God’s Kingdom, the host and guest should sit together as equals. 

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