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Sunday, August 30, 1998

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22nd Sunday Ordinary Time

Sirach 3:17-18, 20, 28-29
Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24
Psalm 68:4-5, 6-7, 10-11
Luke 14:1, 7-14

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the humblest humbleness

"For everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled and he who humbles himself shall be exalted." —Luke 14:11

Jesus invites us to humble ourselves by taking the lowest place (Lk 14:10) and by inviting "beggars and the crippled, the lame and the blind" to eat with us (Lk 14:13). Most people take Jesus' words as a suggestion and encouragement to be humble and help the poor. Jesus, however, indicates that His words are to be taken much more seriously when He concluded His command with the words: "You should be pleased that they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid in the resurrection of the just" (Lk 14:14). Jesus' call to humility and service is of ultimate significance.

When Jesus commands us to humble ourselves, it means much, much more than these words coming from anyone else. Jesus washed the feet of the apostles (Jn 13:4ff) and "humbled Himself, obediently accepting even death, death on a cross!" (Phil 2:8) Jesus has humbled Himself by giving Himself to us in Holy Communion. He is so humbled that He doesn't look like God or even like a man. He looks like bread and wine. When this crucified, eucharistic God-Man speaks of humbling ourselves, He speaks with a depth and love far beyond anything we have ever heard.

Humble yourself — by Jesus' standards.

Prayer:  Jesus, teach me to be "gentle and humble of heart" (Mt 11:29).

Promise:  "Conduct your affairs with humility, and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts. Humble yourself the more, the greater you are, and you will find favor with God." —Sir 3:17-18

Praise:  Alleluia! He is risen! "If we have died with Him we shall also live with Him; if we hold out to the end we shall also reign with Him" (2 Tm 2:11). Alleluia!

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, February 17, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 25, 1998