Homily for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
Theme: Humble yourselves
By: Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Homily for Sunday September 1 2019
Today’s first reading is taken from the Book of Sirach 3:17-18, 20:28-29, in which we are asked to humble ourselves and you will find favor with God. Perform your tasks with humility then you will be loved by those whom God accepts.
The greater you are, the more you must humble yourself; so you will find favor in the sight of the Lord. A stubborn mind will fare badly at the end, and whoever loves danger will perish in it.
A stubborn mind will be burdened by troubles, and the sinner adds sin to sins. When calamity befalls the proud, there is no healing, for an evil plant has taken root in him. The mind of the intelligent appreciates proverbs, and an attentive ear is the desire of the wise.
If they make you master of the feast, do not exalt yourself; be among them as one of their number. Take care of them first and then sit down; when you have fulfilled all your duties, take your place, so that you may be merry along with them and receive a wreath for your excellent leadership.
My child, conduct your affairs with humility and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts. Humble yourself the more, the greater you are, and you will find favor with God. What is too sublime for you, seek not, into things beyond your strength search not.
The mind of a sage appreciates proverbs, and an attentive ear is the joy of the wise. Water quenches a flaming fire, and alms atone for sins.
The second reading is from St. Paul to the Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24, in which Paul urges us to approach Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. He contrasts two scenes. One is the giving of the Old Covenant, and the other is the assembly of those justified by the New Covenant.
The Gospel is from St. Luke 14:1, 7-14, in which Jesus tells us that when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. Jesus had been invited to dine in the house of a leading Pharisee.
The Pharisees were so convinced of their own perfect knowledge and observance of the law, that they thought nobody else could possibly know it or observe it as perfectly as they did. In a very simple parable, Jesus told them where their pride would lead them.
Today’s reading suggests that when the day comes for us to approach the judgment seat of God, it’s not going to be a dreadful courtroom drama but an assembly of people so festive that they teach the angels how to party.
The guests at this gathering are the ones who have been made perfect — not by their own efforts, but by the love of God.
On a sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees, and the people there were observing him carefully.
He told a parable to those who had been invited, noticing how they were choosing the places of honor at the table.
“When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not recline at table in the place of honor. A more distinguished guest than you may have been invited by him, and the host who invited both of you may approach you and say, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then you would proceed with embarrassment to take the lowest place.
Rather, when you are invited, go and take the lowest place so that when the host comes to you he may say, ‘My friend, move up to a higher position.’ Then you will enjoy the esteem of your companions at the table.
For every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Then he said to the host who invited him, “When you hold a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors, in case they may invite you back and you have repayment.
Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; Blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ