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Sunday, September 2, 2007

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22nd Sunday Ordinary Time

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

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"What you should do when you have been invited is go and sit in the lowest place." —Luke 14:10

Some people think that Catholics obey the above Scripture passage better than any other part of the Bible, because we are notorious for sitting in the back of church. Nonetheless, sitting in the back of church is not the main point of today's Gospel; rather, this Gospel emphasizes humility. In fact, in today's culture, we may be more humble sitting in the front of church than the back. We need to sit in the back, not in church, but in lifestyle. Rather than keeping up with the Joneses, we should be staying in back of them. Our lifestyle should become so "backward" that the beggars, the crippled, the lame, and the blind feel comfortable eating at our house (Lk 14:13).

When first-world people choose a third-world lifestyle, then they choose the lowest place. The lowest place is not in front of the air conditioner, at the bank, in the drive-through, or with the microwave. Choosing the lowest place is not necessarily sitting in the back of church but sitting in the bus because you choose not to have a car. The lowest place is not having a black and white TV, instead of color or cable, but having no TV. The lowest place is rarely chosen. Only Jesus and a few others were "foolish" enough to choose it. Where will you choose to sit in life?

Prayer:  Father, may my lifestyle make no sense apart from Jesus' death and resurrection.

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:  Praise Jesus, Who humbled Himself and left the glory of heaven so that we could be exalted and live with Him forever.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Prophetic Poverty on audio AV 113-1 or video V-113.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 14, 2007

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