Homily for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
Theme: Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the man who humbles himself will be exalted.
By: Fr. Patrick
Homily for Sunday September 1 2019
Gospel: Lk 14:1.7-14
My dear friends our Gospel today is about motives – getting at the real reasons for doing what we do. The people invited to the meal [in our Gospel] scrambled for the places of honour which indicates they were not there to honour their host, but to honour themselves. The host seemed to be doing a generous thing until you see the kind of people he invited. He had invited his friends and cronies who would repay him by inviting him to their houses in return. Giving and service are at the heart of the Gospel message but we need to be careful about our motives in doing what we do.
I’ve a story of Nicholas who had a great reputation for generosity and doing good deeds. When he died he met St. Peter at the pearly gates and a large pile of gold nuggets which represented the good deeds Nicholas had done during his life. St. Peter said to Nicholas ‘not all your good deeds were truly selfless as Jesus asks of us, so we’ll have to adjust the pile a bit. First we’ll take out the good deeds you did to your friends and relations for even gangsters do as much. There is nothing extraordinary about these good deeds. Then we’ll take out the good deeds you did only to get something in return. Now we’ll take out the good deeds you did so as to receive the praise of others. Next let’s take out the things you gave but never missed. And what we are left with are the good deeds you did that were your duty to do.’ Nicolas had seen all his gold [good deeds] wiped out and felt truly humbled. St. Peter said to him ‘Real selfless giving as Jesus desires of us is very rare, just as gold is very rare. Now let’s go into heaven, for the Lord is the greatest giver of all.’
Conclusion of Mass – thoughts for the week
What are the real reasons for what we do? What are the motives behind our actions?
Do we do good deeds that are truly selfless, cost us and towards those who cannot return the favour?