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A reading of the holy Gospel according to Lk 14:1, 7-14

On a sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees, and the people there were observing him carefully. He told a parable to those who had been invited, noticing how they were choosing the places of honor at the table. "When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not recline at table in the place of honor. A more distinguished guest than you may have been invited by him, and the host who invited both of you may approach you and say, 'Give your place to this man,' and then you would proceed with embarrassment to take the lowest place. Rather, when you are invited, go and take the lowest place so that when the host comes to you he may say, 'My friend, move up to a higher position.' Then you will enjoy the esteem of your companions at the table. For every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted." Then he said to the host who invited him, "When you hold a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors, in case they may invite you back and you have repayment. Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."


"For every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted."

Growing up, there were reward ceremonies for being on the honor roll with all A's, for A's and B's and for perfect attendance. The students who got these awards wore ribbons of different colors, so one knew what award they had received. Of course, they were proud of their accomplishments but whether that led to an inordinate desire for praise, I am unsure. We all have a natural desire for personal accomplishments, prestige and honor when the work is done.

However, some schools or sporting organizations have trophies or awards for everyone so that no one would feel left out. Looking back, it really did not distinguish between the good and hard working student and the ones who did not try. They were all treated the same. Did that dilute the pool of hard workers? Perhaps.

To be honored for accomplishments is good because there is an incentive to work harder and do the best one can. It can be good and noble. However, we do need to know when not to be blinded by ambition, of that pursuit for that greater goal, which are forms of pride. Do we have to be first? Do we have to excel? Do we need to know all the answers? Do people need to know what we do or did?

With humility we can do a lot but we don't have to show off. Nor do people need to be reminded of what you did. In the midst of all these accomplishments one needs to recognize that it is not because of us. The talents and graces are all given to us by God. We have been allowed to cultivate and produce much fruit for His Glory.

It is best to keep our pride under control and beg to be humble. Use our talents and divine treasures for the better glory of God while realizing that we are nothing without God.

God Bless You


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