Sirach 3: 17-18, 20, 28-29; PS 68: 4-7, 10-11;
Hebrews 12: 18-19, 22-24; LK 14: 1, 7-1
In today’s readings we find themes of humility and service to the poor. God calls us to be humble; to seek Him, not self-aggrandizement; to know our limits and not strive for wisdom and knowledge of Him which is infinitely beyond us; to serve those in need.
We are called/directed to give alms to the poor and marginalized. The meaning of poor is not only about money and the meaning of alms is not limited to money. We can give of our time and our talents; to be present to those in need; to the homeless; to battered women; in soup kitchens; as Eucharistic ministers in hospitals and nursing homes; as listeners to those yearning to be heard; supporters of causes and legislation for people in need of shelter and health care; for desperate immigrants; we all know these needs and so many others.
Sirach directly counsels us to strive for humility and in Luke Jesus pointedly tells the banquet guests (and us) to avoid seeking the places of honor at table, and by implication, wherever we go and wherever we are. He affirms that “… the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Analogizing guests invited to a banquet He clearly tells us that we are not to invite (serve) only those who can reciprocate, but to invite (serve) those who can never repay our service to them.
Paul reminds us that overarching everything is the perfect sacrifice Jesus made of Himself - far beyond any sacrifice of His predecessors in the Scriptures. Nothing we can do can even approach what Jesus has done for us, but we are called to do our best in humility and service to others.
May Jesus’ Passion be Always in Our Hearts.