Fr. Mike’s Homily for Saturday of the 30th week in Ordinary Time Cycle I

Fr. Mike’s Homily for Saturday of the 30th week in Ordinary Time Cycle I

Theme: The virtue of humility

By: Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches

Homily for Saturday October 30 2021







Fr. Mike’s Homily for Saturday of the 30th week in Ordinary Time Cycle I

Theme: The virtue of humility

By: Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches

 

Homily for Saturday October 30 2021

Saturday – Week 30
October 30, 2021
Lk 14:1, 7-11

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. Rather, 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. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

The Gospel is the continuation of yesterday’s account when Jesus was invited to dine at the house of a Pharisee on a Sabbath. Despite the accusation of violating the Sabbath, Jesus healed the man with dropsy. Afterwards, He gives a comment on the behavior of the guests at the banquet. They were no doubt anxious as to who would get the better seats at table. This must already be the common practice of the Jews, particularly those who hold certain authority in the community. That is why, the seating arrangement of the guests is always a big issue in every banquet.

Jesus, then, takes this situation as an opportunity to teach a lesson on humility, the most basic virtue. His teaching is in the form of a parable. He suggests that when invited to a banquet, one should not take the place of honor, for he would be humiliated when he has to vacate the seat to give way to somebody of higher stature. Rather, it is better to take the lowest place, so that there is the possibility of being requested to occupy a more distinguished seat. In that way, he will be admired by the others. “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

The word ‘humility’ is derived from the Latin ‘humus’, which means soil or dirt. It signifies our human origin: “For you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Gen 3:19). The virtue of humility, therefore, consists in the sincere appreciation of our utter insignificance as mere creatures and our absolute dependence on God. A famous Dominican theologian, R. Garrigou-Lagrange, wrote: “Humility, by inclining us toward the earth, recognizes our littleness, our poverty, and in its way glorifies the majesty of God… The interior soul experiences a holy joy in annihilating itself, as it were, before God to recognize practically that He alone is great, and that, in comparison with His, all human greatness is empty of truth like a lie.”

In a word, humility is the realization that without God, we are nothing. Jesus uses the image of the vine and the branches to illustrate this: “I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing” (Jn 15:5).

The most perfect example of true humility is the Blessed Virgin Mary. Receiving from the angel the greatest news of all, that she is chosen by God to be the Mother of the Savior, the Blessed Mother did not, for a moment, think of this great honor. Rather, in utter humility, she proclaimed, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38). Her humility enabled her to be totally obedient to the will of the heavenly Father at every moment of her life.

St. John Vianney praises her perfect humility in these words: “Mary is the gate through which all God’s graces pass. She seasons our good actions, imparting an enhanced value to them. She makes our offering even more acceptable to God. Finally, she grants us the title of possessors of the divine Heart. It may even be said that she induces God to be our servant. This is because God has never been able to resist the supplication of a humble heart” (Sermon on the 10th Sunday of Pentecost).

Every Saturday, as we honor the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Mass, may we never fail to appreciate the virtue of humility in our life as Christians. Let us also resolve to earnestly imitate Mary’s humble heart, so that, like her, God may also look on our prayers and petitions with favor and delight.

Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches

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