HOMILY FOR THE 22ND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR C
THEME: Be Humble!
BY: Fr. Justus Chigozie Oruma
HOMILY FOR SUNDAY AUGUST 28 2022
(a) It is better to be humble than to be humbled. The later come with shame and disgrace, the former is honor and grace. Simply put, humility is choosing a lowly state one may worth more or be greater than, as beautifully described in Sirach; “The greater thou art, the more humble thyself in all things” (Sir.3:18)
(b) Jesus paints the picture brighter in the Gospel of Luke 14, where He recommends that one should not scramble for “first seats” just to be noticed or honored for that is a presumption which places one at the risks of disgrace and humiliation. It is always gracious and honorable to be called up from a lowly place.
(c) Never give yourself honors and titles before men because of whom you think you are. It is a presumption that may leave you disgraced. Honor is only a notice and praise from another given to you for what you have done. In general, as said in the letter to the Hebrews; “no one takes (this) honor upon himself” Thus, the origin of Honor is not in you but in another and you may not get honored always from people. Honor is not Happiness. Simply do praiseworthy things (like inviting the poor and the needy for dinner as Jesus recommends) and you will be contented and happy whether honored with titles of “first seats” or not. Happiness is the ultimate end of man which has its origin this time in you. “Honor comes from outside but Happiness is in the happy man” (Thomas Aq.) With this Happiness and contentment in the man of good works, the “first” or the “last” seat as an honor does not make significant difference. Do not kill yourself for the Honor “first seats” people may or may not give you but work for the Happiness and contentment you must give yourself.
A humble man is happy and contented, as Sirach puts it; “he does not seek things too great and things beyond his ability (Sir 3:20). A humble man is usually lovable as described too in Sirach, “My son, do thy works in humility, and thou shalt be beloved above the glory of men.” (Sirach 3:17) A proud man is insatiable, seeking honor and is always scrabbling for “first seats” most times without deserving them. No one can manage a proud man, “God even scatters the proud hearted” (Lk.1:51). But He lifts the humble (Lk.1:52). So, remain humble despite all you know and have
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