HOMILY FOR THE 22ND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR C
THEME: HUMILITY BRINGS GREATNESS.
BY: Rev. Fr. Edward Onwueme E.
HOMILY FOR SUNDAY AUGUST 28 2022
1st Rd. Sirach 3:17-20. 28-29;
2nd Rd. Hebrews 12:18-19.22-24,
Gospel Of St Luke 14:1.7-14.
An Angel was asked, what is the difference between Jesus and Satan? He said that the difference is ‘pride’ and ‘humility’. Satan is the father of pride, and Jesus is the father of humility. Humility is the mother of all virtues. The first reading urges us to be humble in everything we do. No matter our qualifications, beauty, wealth, spirituality, etc, just be humble. Sirach 3:18 says, “The greater you become, the more humble you should be.”
WHAT IS HUMILITY
Humility, from the Latin humilis, meaning low or small, means the quality of being free from pride and having a low (down to earth) view of your own importance or significance.
This word humility perhaps, has the same root as “humus”, meaning, the rich soil I spread in my garden to help good things to grow. Humility can be simply defined as the quality of being humble and means of putting the needs of another person before your own, and thinking of others before yourself ( Rom. 15:2-3).
SIGNIFICANCE OF EATING FOOD AND GREATNESS OF HUMILITY
This greatness of humility is dramatized in the Gospel of today. It started with Jesus, going to the home of one of the leading Pharisees. Jesus is always interested in mealtime. He loves the gatherings around meals. This was one of the primary distinctions between Him and his ascetic mentor, John the Baptist (Matt. 11:18-19).
Luke’s Gospel provides central settings for Jesus’ mission. Then, the language, food, serves as a basis for Jesus’ teaching (Lk 11:5-8, 15:14-17). Eating is a sign of life (Lk 24:43, 8:55), and reconciliation (Lk 15:23). Food has religious connotations as well, (6:1-4; 14:15, 22:14-20). Jesus blessed it (Lk. 9:16, 22:19; 24:30), and prayed for the daily food (Lk 11:3).
Jesus is less interested in the actual food than in the composition of the banquet. With this story, Jesus exposes our secret lives of greediness. He observed that almost everyone wants to be admired in the public. It has been a problem in the religious setting today. Many men of God will keep on preaching about ourselves, no more about God, in order to draw people’s attentions to ourselves. Why that many of us, especially the Catholic priests have A1, in criticizing our predecessors? Even when we know very well that we can not do better than them. We keep on telling lies against our fellow priests, just to make people of God to hate our predecessors, and love us. Is this not a religious blindness and stupidity?
When Jesus saw the injustice that was going on between the rich and the poor. Jesus corrected that wrong impression immediately, when He observed that people were inclined to invite those who can return their favour. He warns the host (and us), not to invite the four groups of people (friends, brothers, relatives, or rich neighbors), but to invite the four groups of people (the poor, crippled, lame, and blind), those who can’t repay you. Jesus promises us that, heaven will be our reward. In this story, Jesus is passing a message across, that, “People who uplift themselves will be humbled, but those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Humility is one of the virtues that is lacking seriously in our society today. Many preachers have taken the glory that belongs to God, because God used them to perform miracles. We should learn from what Paul and Barnabas did in Acts 14:8-20. And also what David says in Ps. 115:1, “To you alone, O Lord, to you alone, and not to us, must glory be given.” Don’t allow pride to destroy your future. Because of your beauty, you don’t want to join in the Mary league, or to become a Rev sister. Because of your intelligent, before you will accept to represent your parish to answer quiz, the parish priest must pay you first. You forget that, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility is wisdom” (Prov. 11:2). The beautiful ones are not yet born. There are many who are intelligent, beautiful than you are. Do you know that a little accident you have can disfigure that your beauty. Better be humble. St Paul says in 1 Cor. 15:10, “Whatever I am today is by His grace.”
TYPES OF HUMILITY
We have four types of humility:
1) Natural humility, which is inborn in you.
2)Humbled humility which accident like sickness, disfiguring your body, public disgrace, death, and other painful events bring.
3) Contrived Humility is when it becomes fake humility. Pretending that you are humble because you are looking for a favour. For instance, when a young Lady is getting married newly, she pretends as if, she is humble, when she is not.
4) Intentional humility, is when you truly desire to become humble in spite of your natural tendencies.
Where do you belong here?
Once we are humble, it will manifest in our lives.
Matt 5:5 summarizes everything, “Blessed are the humble, they will inherit (the earth) God’s promises.”
Child of God, anything one does has its own advantage and disadvantage. They are a lot of advantages in becoming humble. Some of them include:
1) God hears and responds to the humble (Lk 18:9-14)
2) Humility gets God’s attention (2 Sam. 12:13, Ps. 51).
3) It brings honour and joy (Prov. 29:23, and Isaiah 29:19).
4) God’s presence dwells with the humble (Lk. 1:48).
5) God saves the humble (PS. 18:23). In 2 Sam 22:28 says, “for You will save the humble people, but your eyes are on the haughty that you may bring them down.”
6) It brings Wisdom and Discernment (Prov. 11:2, Ps. 25:19&Acts 8:30).
Child of God, if we refuse to become humble today, we might be like Nebuchadnezzar who was disgraced because of pride (Dan. 4). The proud Pharisee whom God didn’t answer his prayers (Lk 18:9-14). Naaman (2Kgs 5) and Satan who was thrown down from heaven because of pride (Isa. 14:8; Ezk. 28), etc.
My dearest, let us follow the humility of Jesus Christ in Phil 2:5-10. Many of our youths are no longer attracting the favour from their parents and elders, because, many of them are proud to respect their elders. You are insulting your elders because you have money. You want to become the traditional ruler, when you know that you don’t merit it, because you have the money. Even among ourselves the priests. Many of us, the assistants sometimes claim that we know it all. Because of pride, we don’t even listen to our parish priests; forgetting that, many of them are the age mates of our biological fathers and elders in our various families.
Having seen how humility can bring greatness, we ought to shun pride and promote humility.
Pride among our people, especially the religious and government leaders is one of the greatest weapons the devil uses in destroying the world especially the Church today.
May God give us the grace to be meek and humble as He is (Matt. 11:28-29). Make us to understand that we are only the instruments He uses to reach others. So that on the last day, we shall be among the chosen to behold the face of God, through Christ our Lord, Amen.
Happy Twenty Second Sunday!
Welcome To This New Week!
God Bless You With Humility!
Rev. Fr. Edward Onwueme E.
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