One essential trait in a man is this innate desire to appear important. There is this desire in man that pushes him to be the best. He always struggles to be the crème de la crème everywhere he is. Dale Carnegie calls it the inner giant. This desire sometimes negatively influences him. Most of the positions people struggle to occupy and can even kill to get are because of the effort to satisfy the yearnings of this desire.
In his pride, man forgets that he is nothing and thinks himself as the controller of the universe. This is why many think that by their positions, they can do anything they like and wish. But as life continues, they come to understand that nothing in life lasts forever.
Humility is a virtue that we often relegate but highly important in our Christian lives. This is when we know our nothingness and eschew pride and arrogance. God exalts and loves the one who humbles Himself and takes whatever He has as nothing. All men and women who won the heart of God are men of great humility.
The gospel continues from that of yesterday. In the house of the leading Pharisees, Jesus notices how the Pharisees are occupying places of honour at the table. This is like a confirmation to Jesus’ rebuke in Mathew 23:5-6 and Luke 20:46 that they love places of honour and hence like recognition, greetings and public worship. Jesus uses this opportunity to admonish them to always take the lowest places whenever they are invited as guests, to avoid embarrassment.
Luke sees this as a parable which in effect means that Jesus uses the situation at hand to reveal divine truth. Hence, If we can always stay humble under God’s mighty hands, He will certainly uplift us in His own time (1 Peter 5:6).
The Key Points
1.It is believed that in the time of Jesus, seating arrangement at dinner often shows who is the most honoured. A particular seat is reserved for the most honoured, followed by the next honoured person and the line continues. Jesus hence notices how the Pharisees scramble for these seats. Secondly, it could be that before Jesus takes His place, the Pharisees have occupied all the seats leaving no place for the Lord.
2. Hence humility is giving God His position in our lives. It is when we put God first and acknowledge Him as the doer of all things that happen to us.
3.When the angel appeared to the Virgin Mary with the good news, instead of puffing herself up, She gave all glory to God through the Magnificat. Despite David’s honour and position, He spends time to give God glory and praise. David attributes to God all that He is. He calls the Lord His Shepherd (Psalm 23:1). But sometimes, we are always tempted to assume all glory and honour. When we feel this honour is not given to us, we become sad. When you put God first, He will surely put you first says Saint Padre Pio.
4. Just as the Pharisees scramble for a position today is the same way many people scramble for positions, honour, recognition etc. Many can go to any extent to achieve these selfish desires. Hence Jesus advises us to thread humility in everything we do. We must not scramble and fight for earthly honours. What is very important is discovering our nothingness and thus bring ourselves low before God. These earthy honours we fight to occupy will eventually disappear at the end of our lives. Consequently, nothing in life is temporary.
5. We must not fight to raise ourselves. Always allow God to take a place in your heart. He knows how to raise you. Do the things you are supposed to do diligently. God knows how to locate you.
It is this earthly desire to raise ourselves, make people to backbite, kill, fight and become envious of one another. But humility makes us peaceful with ourselves and peaceful with others. In it, we understand that there is nothing worth scrambling for.
6. Just like the Pharisees are guests today and scramble for what does not necessarily belong to them, is the way we are guests in this world and yet scramble for what does not necessarily belong to us. And just like a guest will still leave the feast is the same we will leave all these we have been killing ourselves to occupy.
God exalts the humble who knows He is just like a guest in this world, in the way the Pharisees are today but unlike the Pharisees, he humbles himself before God. This is a particular trait we must find in all great biblical men and women of God.
7. God exalts the one who gives Him the first place in His life, unlike the Pharisees. He exalts he who attributes all that he achieves and has to Him. He uplifts the one who knows he is nothing and takes his place among the poor, the lowly, the downtrodden etc.
8. Many families today are in darkness because no one wants to see others come to limelight. Some people see themselves in a higher position and they swear never to allow others to be like them. They can even go diabolic to subdue every person to their limits. Some will go at the back to make sure that they pull anyone down who they think is rising. This is one of the reasons many today are fighting and killing themselves over nothing. At the hour of death, we discover we have wasted our years fighting others rather than working for God.
God surely exalts the one who knows he does not need to scramble for the highest place of honour to be important. Greatness can come from those ordinary things we do. If we can humble ourselves and seek His face, He will surely uplift us. (2 Chronicles 7:14).
May God bless you dearest and give us the grace to remain humble. May He always remember and protect you. Amen
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