Is it just an act?- 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Today, we're talking about humility. The funny thing about humility is that we often faked it. It's because we hear that the last will be made first and the lowly shall be exalted that we adopt this mindset of humility to get ahead. Is that what Jesus is telling us in this story?

See, I had to learn humility to better serve. I had to remove myself from the equation to more effectively minister to God's people. You see, when I let my ego get in the way of my ministry through music, it becomes about me and not God. People often thank me for my music after Mass, and I always feel awkward about this because it's not my music. It's God's music, it's their music because the people are the ones who make the music praiseworthy.


When we put our egos in front of our purpose, we tend to Edge God out, or ego ourselves to the point of arrogance.


What Jesus asks us to do in today's Gospel is to Simply accept that the preferred point of view for God it's from the bottom up. Think about that for just a moment. God lives and dwells in all things, he truly has a bottom-up view. As people made in God's image and likeness, We should strive to view the world as God does.

The psalm today gives us a clue that we should be making a home for the poor. This is a generous Act of our God, and it should be echoed in our own actions. Saint Paul explains how humility will allow us to receive God's message more clearly and not to be ashamed of what it will take to build the kingdom.


When Jesus arrives at the home of the Pharisee who is held in high esteem in Jewish Society, he makes the comment that we shouldn't be arguing over who has a place of honor, but simply accept that we should move from the lowest position. By humbling ourselves, removing our self-interest, we're more capable of being God's vessel. The Divinity that dwells within existence is allowed to come forward, and the host read: God, might very well say to us come to take the place of a higher honor. Oh, I have chosen you based on your good nature.


So how much of our own humility is just a show? Do we really ask ourselves to move aside to serve God? As human beings, I don't think we can do this, but I do think when we experience I genuinely humbling encounter, we find ourselves closer to God. That emptiness of self becomes a way for us to feel the ever love of God.


Practice saying thank you. Practice giving thanks. Make a conscious effort to shy away from personal Glory and redirect that Focus to those who support the energy in the first place.

I'll use my ministry and music, for example. Every time our choir sings for a mass, people come up to me afterward and thank me for the music or, they praise me for the sound of our choir. Honestly, I have very little to do with the sound of our choir. Their talent is their own. I simply try and give that sound and that Spirit a Direction. To try and find the music that fits their voices and accomplishes our prayer. This isn't my work, it's God's work. I'm simply the vessel that God chose to make it happen, and the people who support our ministry are the ones who deserve all the praise.

It has taken me a very long time to Simply say thank you to those people who wish to offer praise. I used to feel proud when this would happen. Oh, but that's not what I wanted to feel. I had to examine whether or not what I was doing serve God's people, or served myself? The attitude of helping others changes the way we operate. It is no longer about the self but about the other.

Jesus makes it a point to serve the poor. But then he also attends High Society events because he's become someone notoriety. What does Jesus do with these moments in High Society? He uses it as a point to create a scene. Those moments in High Society or where Jesus tries to Enlighten the elite of his day to the idea that maybe, it's not their Glory they should be basking in. Jesus trance to point out that if they take the lowest position, they might see how God looks at our world.

So maybe instead of self-serving in our actions, we focus our efforts on serving others. Who are the poorest in our site? From where I sit, there are children in dismal circumstances along the southern border. Wouldn't it be nice to hear from our priests that we're going to do something about it? Something that doesn't involve writing a check, but that requires us actually getting our hands dirty. Maybe we should be calling senators and congresspeople? Perhaps we should be finding volunteer opportunities to head to Texas or Arizona or California to help those who are sick. After all, our nation has decided that we shouldn't vaccinate people against the flu in these detention camps. They are only supposed to be there for like 72 hours or some nonesense that's a bold lie. We can't find the funds for a $10 vaccine to prevent a highly contagious disease in an enclosed environment. If you ask me, that's biological warfare, and we invaded Iraq in 2003 with less evidence... I apologize, that was a digression.

Maybe the lowest are the folks in line at the Salvation Army to get a meal and possible shelter for a night? Have we taken it upon ourselves to go and serve the line? (I haven't, but maybe I will? A goal to challenge me).


When Jesus asks us to take the lowest place because God will assign us to our proper position, or even better, God will gift us a better place. Accepting the lowest seat isn't to force us into an act of humility. No, I think it is to show us the best possible way of seeing God for who He is and what we can do to be more like Him.


Peace,

-Matt

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