The Lord’s parable about the three servants illustrates how we can all use wisely our resources even if we have all been blessed in greater and lesser ways. Point: how will we use what we have been given today?
The death of John the Baptist makes it clear that in no uncertain terms there is a price for following the Lord. Our “yes” to God means that we will follow a path where sacrifice will be part of the offering of our lives.
Today’s readings all continue from yesterday, and the Psalm and Gospel remind us that rather than flee from our sins we call upon the grace and strength of God. After all…who do we think we’re kidding?
Both Jesus and the Psalmist show us that God knows us through-and-through. Rather than pretend (and become hypocrites,) we have the opportunity today to acknowledge our sins with humility and receive the grace of God.
The theme of humility surfaces throughout the readings this week. Check this out:
1st Reading – “My child, conduct your affairs with humility.”
Psalm – “God, in your goodness, you have made a home for the poor.”
2nd Reading – We draw near to Jerusalem, where Jesus and the angels dwell.
Gospel – “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
What does humility mean? What does it mean to say that a person is humble? The word is often misunderstood and misused, and yet it is an important concept in the Scriptures and Church teaching.
At it’s heart, humility is about our perspective of ourselves against a larger background. We are not the center of the universe! Rather, we understand that we exist in relationship to the Lord and one another.
God is the center and origin of our lives, from which we derive all grace and blessings. We are sustained in the mind of God, and invited to love the Lord with all our heart and mind, body and soul. For remember: the Lord loved us first, and out of love gave his Son to save us from our sins.
Yet the relationship is not just between ourselves and the Lord. We also exist in relationship to one another. We are part of a great communion of souls – both living and dead – and we are invited to grow in love of those around us.
Humility arises when we see ourselves clearly in the light of these relationships. We understand that our needs and wants are always set in the context of other (often far greater) concerns. When this happens we grow in awareness of how our lives interact and weave together, fostering communication, cooperation, and respect.
Jesus, the Master Teacher, offers brilliant clarity in teaching about the great commandment to love God and one another. The teaching is simple and direct; the challenge is living out this commandment each and every day.
The Lord uses the image of a banquet to teach us about the power, beauty and expectation of the Kingdom of Heaven. Our journey through this life provides countless opportunities for us to prepare our souls to join this heavenly feast. Are we ready?