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Doctrines & Morals

My friend, come up higher

Phil. 1:18-26, Lk. 14:1.7-11. The Christians at Philippi were suspicious that some outsiders were  preaching about Christ, but did not take part in their Eucharist or prayer-meetings. In today's first reading, Paul declares that whenever anyone proclaims Christ, whatever their motives might be, it brings him joy. He condences the entire message to one single word, “Christ,” our risen saviour, living in the community. The actions of the Church become acts or statements of the “body of Christ.” Paul was very glad when that message was passed on to others, by simply mentioning the name “Christ.” Under this name all envy and suspicion should be banished from among the faithful.

In today's Gospel' Jesus warns against the common tendency to use money or status in order to enjoy privilege and be seated in the best seats. Knowing how many are drawn to this, He advises us to voluntarily go to the less exalted seats. Then if the host so wishes you will be called forward: "My friend, come up higher." He seems to say, 'if you host yourself in high esteem, at least give others a chance to determine your place'. The call to be humble is a challenge to us all, even if glory is promised as its reward. It takes humility to welcome God and to offer Him the treatment He deserves. Humility is the true understanding of ourselves and seeing ourselves in the way God sees us without pretensions. When we assess ourselves honestly, then there is no place for pride or gloom in us. A truly humble person will always look up to the approval that comes from God alone. He is committed to service than status, keeps in mind his limitations and places God given gifts at the disposal of others. He is open to the poor and less privileged, eager to welcome and help them.

May the Lord keep us away from pride and make us responsible children of God in all that we do! Amen!! Be safe and happy weekend!!!

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