HOMILY FOR THE 22ND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR C
THEME: A truly humble person is hard to find, yet God delights to honour such selfless people.
BY: REV FR STEPHEN ‘DAYO OSINKOYA
HOMILY FOR SUNDAY AUGUST 28 2022
Ecclesiasticus 3:19-21, 30-31
Psalm 67:4-7, 10-11
Hebrew 12:18-19, 22-24
Luke 14:1, 7-14
On this 22nd Sunday in the ordinary time of the year, a major theme of today’s Readings is the need for humility before God. As a matter of fact, humility is the mother of many virtues, because from it obedience, fear, reverence, patience, modesty, meekness and peace are born. Also, humility has always been one of the characteristics of the truly great. Many people wonder why God’s favour continues to elude them, but they have not taken into consideration what there may be in their life that displeases God and would not attract His favour. So we all are called to be humble, so that we may enter into the Kingdom of God.
We live in an age where arrogance and pride are being celebrated. In the name of self-confidence and self-esteem, achievement and success, influence and affluence, humility is pushed aside. “Although humility may falsely be equated with a sense of unworthiness and low self-regard, true humility is a rich, multifaceted state that entails an accurate assessment of one’s characteristics, an ability to acknowledge limitations, and a “forgetting of the self”.
Humility though, may not be attractive, but it is essentially necessary in our spiritual life. It is impossible to think of any Christian virtue and holiness without humility. Though it may be unattractive to the world, it is what makes one attractive to God and to others: “you will be loved more than a giver of gifts…you will find favour with God”, the Book of Sirach assures us. It is precisely the humility and obedience of Jesus that exalted him to the heavens, “and bestowed on him the Name above every other name.” (Philippians 2:9) Because even though Jesus was in the form of God, He did not count equality with God… (Philippians 2:6)
One thing we need to bear in mind if we really desire to be humble is to constantly check ourselves and make sure our ego is not inflated. The doctor would tell us to have regular medical checkup and watch out for the rise in the level of cholesterol, sugar, salt, blood pressure in our system. They do not go up in an instant, but they result from a long period of unhealthy diet in food and drink consumption and other bad habits.
In a similar way, in our spiritual life, the sin of pride does not appear instantly. As little children, we did not have it. But as we grew up, we gradually learned unhealthy habits that accumulated and stuck to our person like cholesterol plaques that constrict the flow of blood in our arteries. Then, our ego steadily began rising, and without noticing it, pride has slowly gripped and hardened our heart, threatening us with spiritual stroke and paralysis.
There are clear symptoms of pride that if we pay due attention we can easily recognize. When we expect praise and appreciation for every good thing we do; when we are too shy to come out and volunteer our services and talents because we are afraid of being criticized; when even a small negative comment about our work easily hurts us; when we enjoy talking about the mistakes and sins of others; when we fiercely believe we are always right and refuse to listen to the opinion of others; when we always seek positions of prestige or power; when we are afraid or unwilling to let go of a position or function that makes us feel important and indispensable – these are all but a few examples of pride getting into us. (https://www.homilyhub.com/homily-for-the-22nd-sunday-in-ordinary-time-year-c-2/)
So today, in the liturgy, Jesus prepares us with some good advice about ways to be a guest and ways to be a host. As God’s guests in this world, we should act humbly and remember that we are always in the presence of someone greater than we are. As hosts of God’s people, we should offer hospitality to those who cannot reward us. Surely, we do not have to leave out our friends and families. But neither should we leave out the poor and disabled. We are called to remember that all good things around us are sent from heaven above, from its true source, God, and acknowledge Him as the giver of all blessings. We should never think of ourselves as better than anyone else, for all we are is due to God’s grace. This is the way to form our hearts in humble gratitude and to live with that peace of heart that only true Christian humility can bring us, “for the affliction of the proud has no healing.”
*REV FR STEPHEN ‘DAYO OSINKOYA*