Humble Service

May the peace and grace of Christ reign in your hearts!

The readings this weekend lead us to reflect on humility and service of others. The Gospel scene depicts Jesus as a special guest attending a formal meal celebration at a wealthy person’s home. Through the past couple of weeks, Jesus has been healing and preaching in the area. He has spoken about mustard seeds, yeast and narrow doors. He cured a woman incapable of standing erect and the man afflicted with dropsy, which is known as edema today. Jesus has been talking about the kingdom of God. It’s a kingdom of new life that is open to all people, both Jews and Gentiles alike. On the side of the mountain when he said “love your brothers and sisters,” he made a sweeping motion with his arm indicating everyone there; those of social status and those on the fringes of society. Afterward he fed them all the loaves and the fish and the last person received the same portion as the Apostles. Today Jesus reminds us how easy it is to get caught up in worldly standards, judgments and politics that constantly change: at times, it can seem like a roller coaster ride. The lesson is for the least prominent and the most eminent among us. God does not judge as people do and what we consider important is not necessarily what God regards as important. But we do know that God is humble, for Jesus said “I am meek and humble of heart.” The people at the banquette seem very occupied with who gets to sit with whom either for bragging rights or perhaps out of fear of being left out. Lucky for us, we don’t have to worry or jostle to get a place close to Jesus. He is the highest guest of honor, and he dwells within us. He sees the truth of our intentions in all our efforts and he knows the desires of our hearts. This knowledge gives us the freedom to not worry about how others perceive us and allows us to focus on Jesus’ encouragement to follow him in humble service of God and neighbor. May God preserve you in peace! +++ Fr Peter

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