Luke 14:1, 7-11
Conduct of Invited Guests and Hosts
In today’s gospel, Jesus observes how the scribes and Pharisees affect the highest seats, towards the head-end of the table. Therefore, He takes this occasion to reprove the guests for striving to sit highest seat and then gives them and us a lesson of humility. William Temple said that humility does not mean thinking less of yourself than of other people, nor does it mean having a low opinion of your own gifts. It means freedom from thinking about yourself one way or the other at all.
And so I will ask you some questions. The questions will reveal clearly whether you are proud or humble. As you listen to each of the seven questions, let it open your soul.
- What do you do when somebody wrongs you, do you easily get angry? Or do you take it in stride and remain cool?
- Do you seldom forgive others? Or do you remember being recently wronged, and immediately forgiving them?
- What do you do after realizing that you have sinned, do you say that it’s not really your fault? Or do you say, “I have sinned; please forgive me”?
- How often do you ask God for favors in prayer, rarely? Or do you find yourself occasionally asking God for help?
- Are you easily annoyed by other people? Or do you enjoy the presence of other people and interact easily with them?
- Do you complain when your children, parents or boss ask you to do something above and beyond the call of duty? Or do you gladly accept God’s will for you?
- When you experience success or good fortune, do you boast about it? Or do you take success in stride and remain cool?
Through the questions above, we can say that pride is telling us that we are little gods; that people have no right to hurt us; that we are too wonderful, excellent, awesome and perfect; that the greatest people are self-made and self-reliant, needing nobody else, never needing to ask anybody for any favors, including God; that it is we who define what is “normal”; telling us that we have the right to do anything we want to do and to avoid doing anything we don’t want to do; telling us that success is always due to our own hard work, superior intelligence, brilliant imagination, keen sense of timing.
While humility reminds us that we are all sinners and that we are no better than anybody else; that to err is human, to forgive is divine; to face the facts, admit our sin and beg forgiveness; everything we have is from God, that even our bodies and talents are on loan from God; that everybody is different, that each person has a unique role in God’s plan, and is therefore given different tastes, desires, abilities, and opportunities; that God is in charge. He knows what He is doing and so we can trust Him completely; that when it rains or shines it does so on both the just and the unjust, success is always caused by many factors, some of which we have no control over and good fortune is a pure grace from God, undeserved and non-repayable.
At the end let us reflect these words from D.L. Moody: “Be humble or you will stumble.”