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Luke 14: 1, 7-11 – Week 30 Ordinary Time, Saturday (King James Audio Bible KJV, Spoken Word)

1 AND it came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched him.

7 ¶ And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them,
8 When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him;
9 And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room.
10 But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.
11 For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

The way of life of Jesus presents a marked contrast with that of guests at the house at the ruler of the Pharisees. Jesus has made his home among the poor and dispossessed, he is the model of the ways of perfection he presents to us in the Beatitudes, while the scribes and the Pharisees very much value their worldly importance, automatically choosing the places of honour at the meal.

Jesus now teaches the virtue of humility. On one level, the parable he offers reads as practical, canny social advice: if you assume a position of weakness, you can win one of strength, while if you claim too much initially, you might lose face. Perhaps this is a way of hearing this teaching that is appropriate to the Pharisees’ frame of mind. Perhaps there is a hint of mockery.

The deeper meaning remains, cued especially by Jesus’ telling us that it is a wedding feast he speaks of, that Jesus is teaching us how to approach God, acknowledging with humility our little worth, and hoping God in his love and his mercy might raise us and call us friend. Before God, it is perilous indeed to claim too much, as if we could deserve a place of honour at His feast; and it is wise to acknowledge our powerlessness to save ourselves and, at the feast, claim nothing.

‘Together with humility, the realization of the greatness of man’s dignity – and of the overwhelming fact that, by grace, we are made children of God – forms a single attitude. It is not our own efforts that save us and give us life; it is the grace of God. This is a truth which must never be forgotten.’ St Josemaria Escriva

Concluding Prayer | Love Revealed By Jesus Christ

Lord God,
living light of eternal love,
grant that always aglow with charity,
we may so love you above all else
and our brethren for your sake,
with one and the selfsame love.
Through Christ our Lord.

King James Audio Bible KJV | King James Version | Endnotes

Humility In Christ

Jesus is invited to eat bread with one of the chief Pharisees on the Sabbath day. While there, Jesus observes how the guests at the dinner choose the places of honor at the table. Jesus then uses a parable to teach a lesson about humility. Jesus advises not to take the highest seat at the table, but rather to take the lowest seat. This way, if the host wants to honor his guests, he will ask them to move up to a higher seat. Jesus concludes the parable by saying: ‘For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.’

The Gospel verses teaches us the importance of humility in our daily lives. The verses encourage us to approach life with a mindset of humility, recognizing our own limitations and submitting ourselves to God’s will. The Gospel reminds us that those who exalt themselves will be humbled, but those who humble themselves will be exalted.

The concept of humility is found throughout the New Testament. In Philippians 2:3-4, the apostle Saint Paul writes: ‘Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.’ This Gospel passage emphasizes the importance of putting others before ourselves and considering their needs and interests as equally important as our own.

In James 4:6, we read: ‘But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”’ This verse highlights that humility is a crucial element in our relationship with God. The verse teaches that those who are humble will receive grace and blessings from God, while those who are proud will be opposed by God.

In the Bible, we see examples of humility in action. Jesus is the ultimate example of humility, as Jesus came to earth as a servant and willingly submitted himself to death on the cross for our sins. In John 13:14-15, Jesus tells his disciples: ‘If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.’ This passage teaches us that serving others is an essential aspect of Christian humility.

An example of humility in the Old Testament isfound in the life of Moses. Despite being chosen by God to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, Moses did not seek glory or power for himself. In fact, when God called him to this task, Moses initially protested, saying he was not worthy or qualified for the job. This displays his humility and submission to God’s will.

Another example of humility can be found in the book of Proverbs, which is filled with wisdom on how to live a Godly life. Proverbs 22:4 states: ‘The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.’ This verse emphasizes that humility is essential to receiving blessings from God.

The book of Psalms contains numerous examples of humility in prayer and worship. Psalm 25:9 says: ‘He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.’ This verse shows that those who approach God with humility are more likely to receive His guidance and direction.

Humility is emphasized in the book of Isaiah, where the prophet speaks about the need for Israel to repent and turn back to God. In Isaiah 57:15, God says: ‘For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.”’

This verse highlights that God is with those who have a humble and contrite heart, who recognize their own sinfulness and need for repentance. It also emphasizes that God lifts up those who are lowly in spirit and revives them.

A further example of humility can be found in the story of King David. Despite being chosen by God to be the king of Israel, David remained humble and submitted to God’s will. Psalm 131 is traditionally ascribed to David: ‘O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.’ We are to understand that David recognized his own limitations and trusted in God’s wisdom and guidance.

We read of humility in the book of Job. Job was a righteous man who suffered greatly, yet he remained humble before God. When God spoke to him from the whirlwind, Job said: ‘Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth’ (Job 40:4). This displays Job’s humility and submission to God’s sovereignty.

Humility is emphasized in the book of Micah, where the prophet speaks about what God requires of his people. Micah 6:8 says: ‘He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?’ This passage highlights that humility is not just a personal virtue, but also a requirement for our relationship with God.