22nd Sunday Mass in Ordinary Time

Theme: Standing Firm in Sincere Humility

First Reading: Proverbs 25:6-12

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 112

Second Reading: Hebrews 13:1-8

Gospel: Luke 14:1; 7-14

Homily by Fr. Erel Villanueva

In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus reminds us about humility –  sincere humility known as  the mother of all virtues. Jesus observed that the religious leaders occupied the best places since there was no formal sitting arrangement. But Jesus was after their motive. The Pharisees and lawyers had a concept that being the religious leaders, they had the right to occupy those seats. This is the same with last Sunday’s Gospel where they thought they could enter the narrow gate without exerting effort because of their title and position. Once again Jesus confronted the pride of Jewish leaders. It’s God who invited us all to join His Kingdom because of His grace through faith not because of who we are or what we have done.

We are not in the two extremes of pride – one is overbearing and selfish and one is having a poor self-image where we see ourselves unworthy due to false or deceptive humility. True humility is the courage to accept our deepest reality that we still have our limitations, we are all still growing and in the process of perfection. We have to admit that we sometimes fail and need help. A humble person has the guts to say I’m sorry when they are wrong, willing to br corrected and submit to the will of others. Above all, acknowledging that everything we have comes from God.

Jesus is our standard in humility for He told us to learn from Him for He is gentle and humble (Mat.11:19). In Phil. 2-10 Jesus sets an example of sincere humility, although He is God but He is secure in the love of God taking the form of a man who endured pain and death to the cross for you and me. He humbled Himself and learned obedience through suffering. Therefore God exalted Him.

Our pride is rooted in our insecurities expressed in selfishness or poor self-esteem. We need to grow in the love of God. Then and only then will we learn to focus not on ourselves but on others and God. We learn to serve and build others, no competition nor comparison. It would save us from unnecessary humiliation in order to learn humility for God resists the proud and gives grace to humble.

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