Homily Twenty-second Sunday Year C Humility

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Homily: Twenty-second Sunday Year C

Reading 1: What is humility? We are who we are in the eyes of God and no more. If we embrace this truth, then we will be loved by God and will find favor with God. The humble and the contrite heart, the psalmist says, the Lord will not turn away.

The problem is that we don’t live in this truth of who we really are. Instead, we often seek to be other than. And this is the source of our sin: pride.  Adam and Eve were not satisfied with being who they were, creatures under and from God—blessed, honored, loved and sharing God’s divine life. They desired to be equal to God, knowing good and evil, being in total control of their life with God.

David, in spite of all that God did for him and given him—raising him from the life of a shepherd to the honor of being king—wasn’t satisfied. He wanted to take to himself what was not his, the wife of another man.

On the other hand, Mary exemplified humility. When God revealed his mighty plan by which he had chosen her to be the Mother of the Savior by the power of the Holy Spirit she answered “I don’t understand, but I trust in you.” She didn’t think of herself but of her cousin Elizabeth, who was with child. She went to help her. She saw herself, not as the chosen Mother of God, but as cousin going to help her cousin in need.

Gospel: Jesus spoke often about the attitude of the heart. He said where your heart is there is your treasure. He said what comes from the recesses of the heart is what makes a person defiled, not what goes into the person. He marveled at the widow’s mite. She gave from her sustenance in comparison to the largess of the rich who gave from their surplus.

Here, the attitude of the heart of the invitee and the inviter is the focus. To take a place of honor or to be invited to a place of honor. Jesus has been invited to dine at the home of a rich Pharisee. Jesus noted that probably people were trying to position themselves in the place of honor close to Jesus. To do so, they thought, would give them a sense of prestige from others.

Humility is an attitude of the heart, which helps us to keep in check that pride within us that sees ourselves more than we are in the eyes of God and others. We look for honor and recognition. We seek affirmation and praise from others. The focus is ourselves because we have not accepted the truth about ourselves. We live in a world of make-belief, of smoke and mirrors, rather than in reality. The world doesn’t revolve around us.

Our true self will be known by ourselves and others by our selflessness for the sake of others. There is a genuine love of the other, a genuine concern for the other, trusting in God’s care and providence for me, while seeking to respond to God’s command of love for the other above my own desires and wants.

Reading 2: While humility keeps before us our true self as struggling sinners always in need of God’s mercy, the author of Hebrews reminds us how privileged we are. Though we are sinners, who deserve the wrath of God, God allows us to experience him in a personal, real way, simply because he loves us.

The people of the Exodus in the Old Testament were not able to approach the Mount of the Lord because of their sinful, rebellious hearts nor hear his voice. On the contrary, we are privileged to be able to approach the Lord because of Jesus our Mediator, whose blood was shed for the remission of our sins. We can come into the Real Presence of the Lord; we can offer a perfect sacrifice; we can receive the Body and Blood of Jesus—not because we are worthy or deserving, but simply because of God’s mercy and love.

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