Matthew’s Gospel offers a couple of key insights into God’s love for humanity. The Lord seeks us out when we are lost and astray with a compassion that knows no limit; our task is to humbly receive this gift with the openness of a little child.
Sometimes we can get caught up in social status, cherishing feelings of importance and respect. In the Gospel today Jesus reminds us that true greatness lies in how we offer our lives, directing us away from external accolades and turning us toward the beauty of a life of humble service.
The Scriptures today reveal the awesome power of God – the source of all life and grace – and helps us understand that our relationship with the Lord requires us to receive with humble respect from the Almighty as we share the gifts we have been given with grateful hearts.
Today offers two options for the Gospel reading – the baptism of Jesus in Mark or the genealogy of Christ in Luke – and reveals to us the humble, simple and open manner in which the Lord meets us in our human weakness.
As the Lord observes people positioning themselves for places of honor at a banquet, he uses the opportunity to teach about pride and humility, inviting us to avoid making comparisons and seeking a simple approach.
God calls every generation to repentance as we observe in the book of Jonah and the Gospel of Luke today. Rather than chase after miracles, wonders and signs, may we respond to this ongoing call to conversion of heart – turning away from sin and turning toward the Lord.
Humility happens when we are simultaneously aware of our sins and acknowledge God’s grace. When we bring together this understanding of our sinfulness and God’s mercy we can be honest with ourselves and thus approach the Lord and others with a humble heart.