Lk 14:1, 7-11

Jesus introduces us into the paradox of the Kingdom of God. In the culture of Jesus’ day, receiving honour from others was a high priority for people. In many respects that is still true today. However, Jesus goes on to declare that what really matters is the honour we receive from God and not the honour we receive from others. Who are those whom God will honour? It is the people who humble themselves who will be exalted or honoured by God. The fellow guests of Jesus in the gospel reading were more in the business of getting than giving – getting recognition, honour, and prominence. Their priority was to exalt themselves. Jesus suggests that when we try to exalt ourselves we block God’s life-giving work in our lives. St. Paul writes in his letter to Philippians, that Jesus did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but humbled Himself. Therefore, God has highly exalted Him (Phil. 2:6-11). It is in emptying ourselves, in humbling ourselves, for the Lord and for each other that we will be exalted by God. As Mary sings in her Magnificat, it is the lowly that God exalts. Being humble means not that we belittle ourselves. Rather, it is to serve others rather than ourselves, to empty ourselves in the service of others. It is allowing God to have God’s ways in our lives.That is why as followers of Jesus we are not to be concerned as to whether or not the good we do is recognized by others. The Lord calls on us to be faithful to the good we are doing, even when we are not recognized, even if honour does not come our way. We must seek to serve others in the same self-emptying way that Jesus did, confident that God will honour us for such a life in eternity.
✍️ CB