Oblate Blog: September 1, 2010

"I am the Beloved of God."

Last Sunday, on the 22nd Sunday in ordinary time, the Gospel spoke of being invited to a banquet and also of inviting others to a special meal or banquet. In the first case Jesus says not to go to the best place or the highest place at the banquet. In the second instance Jesus says to not invite only those people who most likely will be able to repay you or invite you at a later time to a banquet.

Jesus is not teaching us a lesson in proper etiquette here but he is teaching us the proper way to view ourselves and others. He is teaching us about how we are to honor, and respect everyone. Or simply put he is teaching us about humility.

I think in this Gospel Jesus speaks to us about who we are before the Lord. We are told about who we are before the Lord. We are told that we should not think so highly of ourselves that we put ourselves over other people, or as more important than other people. It’s all about humility and realizing that all these other people at this banquet are just as important as me,

Then Jesus warns us about honoring people for favors we hope to receive later. In other words looking for pay backs. It reminds us to be sincere. As Christians we care genuinely about others. We are not trying to buy them. If we are concerned with who they are, not what they can do for us, then we are honoring the Lord who is present in them.

We are called as Christians not to look down on others, or for that matter, to put ourselves down. Father Henri Nouwen, a Catholic priest who wrote many spiritual books in recent years, but who is now deceased, talks about how we all need to remember – I AM THE BELOVED OF GOD. If each one of us can remember that then I think we are humble. Because not only am I the beloved of God, but you also are the beloved of God. So each of us individually are loved, we are each the "beloved son or daughter of God."

So recognize the presence of the Lord in yourself and also the presence of the Lord in others. This I think is humility. Humility is to rejoice in who we are in the presence of the Lord. If we live in this way we can all look forward to also being exalted by the Lord.

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Fr. Kenneth

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