Sunday, September 1, 2013

Today's Mass Readings - Sunday, September 1, 2013 with Reflection

1ST READING - Sirach 3:17-18, 20, 28-29
17 My child, conduct your affairs with humility, and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts. 18 Humble yourself the more, the greater you are, and you will find favor with God. 20 What is too sublime for you, seek not, into things beyond your strength search not. 28 The mind of a sage appreciates proverbs, and an attentive ear is the joy of the wise. 29 Waterquenches a flaming fire, and alms atone for sins.
P S A L M - Psalm 68:4-5, 6-7, 10-11
R: God, in your goodness, you have made a home for the poor.
3 [4] The just rejoice and exult before God; they are glad andrejoice. 4 [5] Sing to God, chant praise to his name, whose name is the Lord . (R) 5 [6] The father of orphans and the defender of widows is God in his holy dwelling. 6 [7] God gives a home to the forsaken; he leads forth prisoners to prosperity. (R) 9 [10] A bountiful rain you showered down, O God, upon your inheritance; you restored the land when it languished; 10 [11] your flock settled in it; in your goodness, O God, you provided it for the needy. (R)
2ND READING - Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24
18 Brothers and sisters: You have not approached that which could be touched and a blazing fire and gloomy darkness and storm 19 and a trumpet blast and a voice speaking words such that those who heard begged that no message be further addressed to them. 22 No, you have approached Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenlyJerusalem, and countless angels in festal gathering, 23 and the assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven, and God the judge of all, and the spirits of the just made perfect, 24and Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and the sprinkled blood that speaks more eloquently than that of Abel.
Take my yoke upon you, says the Lord, and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart.
Luke 14:1, 7-14
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. 10Rather, 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. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” 12 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. 13 Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; 14 blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”



As a child, I dreamt of living the good life. Born of impoverished parents, I’d always dreamt of a big house with large chandeliers, plenty of beautiful children and a swimming pool. It’s free to dream, so I enjoyed dreaming to the hilt, thinking that all these comforts would bring me the joy that I’d been seeking for.

       The Lord answered my prayers —He fulfilled my dreams when I became a priest. I dreamt of a big house, and the Lord gave me a church — a big church indeed, with large chandeliers hanging in the ceiling. The Lord gave me children — plenty of children, as everyone calls me “Father.” And the Lord gave me a swimming pool. In my early years as a priest, I was assigned to flood-prone Malabon. Our church would be submerged in water during typhoons and high tide. The Lord granted my wishes, not so much in terms of giving in to my whims, but to teach me a lesson in humble giving and sharing.

       As He blesses us, He expects us to be more humble and generous. He calls us to “conduct our affairs with humility.” There is a reason why the Lord showers us with every good blessing. He wishes that His generosity be recognized by others through us. Indeed, “alms atone for sins.”     In today’s parable, Jesus, the humblest of all humble servants, reminds us against seeking places of honor and prestige. In a world where people seek recognition and honor, where every title matters so much, it is very difficult to remain lowly. It’s a rat race. One has to prove his worth.

       But then, the Lord shows us the way to prove one’s worth: through the one challenging highway called humility. Humility does not mean being quiet and doing nothing. One can still be productive without bragging. It is doing something, being active without the usual drum beating and clashing of cymbals. It’s doing things quietly.

       When we humbly serve the least of our brethren, we are assured of a reward: “You will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” Fr. Erick Y. Santos, OFS
REFLECTION QUESTION: How do you practice humility in your daily life?
Lord, grant me the heart of a humble person who does not seek greatness, but the desire to serve You in others, especially the poor.

St. Giles, pray for us.

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