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Doctrines & Morals

My friend, come up higher

Rom. 11:1-2.11-12.25-29, Lk. 14:1.7-11. In today's first reading, Paul presents the Jewish Messiah, Jesus Christ, as a gift to be shared with other nations. The Israelites are also blessed with the grace of Christ and are called to spread His spirit in the world. This brings Paul to think about the future of His people, the tribes of Israel, who as a group refused to recognise Jesus as Lord and Messiah. Paul maintains that, as a nation, they suffered from spiritual blindness. However, with his usual optimism, he believes that the Jews’ rejection of the Gospel served to spread it more quickly among the Gentiles: “Blindness has come on part of Israel until the full number of Gentiles enter in.” In spite of this “blindness” he trusts that God has not rejected his people; and he predicts that some time in the future, all Israel will be saved.

Today's Gospel warns us against looking for celebrity and putting high value on titles, status and publicity. There is a temptation to want our virtues to be publicly known and admired, or to use one's wealth or status to become the privileged guest of honour. Jesus is kind enough to understand this common weakness of good people. Thus, Jesus advises them to sit in the lowest place “so that the host will say, ‘My friend, come up higher,’ then you will be honoured. “It is as though to say, “If you must seek esteem, at least go about it in a proper, civilised way.” The story ends with the most difficult guideline of all, be humble. True humility is a stumbling block to us all, even if honour is offered as a reward. Today, Jesus invites us to take the same path of humble service and promises that this will bring us honour from God. For Him the highest goal in life is to do God’s will and this is through humble and loving service others.

May the Lord who made and keep all things in being, give us the insight to see His hand at work in our lives and in the humble service of others! Amen!! Good morning and have a grace filled day!!!

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