|Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor|
Quote of the Week: “It is no great thing to be humble when you are brought low; but to be humble when you are praised is a great and rare attainment.” — St. Bernard of Clairvaux.
As Jesus continues to speak about “entrance into the kingdom” or “being saved,” he does so by simply observing those around him.
At a dinner to which he was invited, he observes the way people are seeking the “high places” or the seats of honor. He gives some rather practical advice: Far better to sit at the “lowest” place, and then be invited by the host to come to a “higher” place, than to choose the highest and be relegated to the lowest because someone more important has arrived.
That will truly embarrass you. It is a case of the self-exalted being humbled. He also goes after his host by noting how many people (just like in this dinner) are invited to boost the social status of the host.
Many dinners are hosted primarily so that others will check out the guestlist to see who of great importance has attended. In this way, the host has been rewarded not for his generosity, but because of his self-seeking pride.
Jesus recommends: “Invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you.”
Transformation! Once again, Jesus is inviting us to something more.
Have you ever experienced a truly proud and arrogant person standing beside a truly humble person? The contrast is stunning.
The proud person is so completely self-absorbed, he has very little reserve to love.
The humble individual, on the other hand, delights and discovers the beauty in others, attracts true love and endearment from others, and becomes exalted by all — including God.
Is there really any choice? Would anyone really choose the proud and self-exalted road for themselves? Why? Why do people do it? Is it fear? Is it laziness? Is it grabbing on to an illusion? Is it the quick, fast food mentality that says: “I want and need a payback NOW! Right NOW!”
So, Jesus again goes to the deeper spiritual truth, the road less traveled, the insight far more beautiful but needing trust, to teach.
Transformation — how blessed are the eyes that see it, the ears that hear it, the mouths that speak it, and the hearts that trust it.
Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112; email email@example.com. Follow Father Perry on Twitter: @MrDeano76.