YEAR B: HOMILY FOR MONDAY OF THE 31ST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: Do Nothing from Selfishness or Conceit.
BY: Fr. Evaristus Abu
_“In humility count others better than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others.” *Philippians 2:3-4*_
Do you sometimes ask yourself why the same amount of food, when shared with others, fills your stomach faster than when you eat alone? They say, “When you want to walk fast, then walk alone, but if you want to walk far, then walk with somebody.”
As Adam Smith puts it: “self-interest is the first law of nature.” We tend to be naturally selfish, whereby we live in a world where everything is all about us. We barely consider the interests of others and if we ever do, it is to gain something from them later.
Jesus went to the house of a leading Pharisee to eat but upon noticing the calibre of people who had been invited, he said to his host: “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbours, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid.”
Jesus continues: “But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
Since it is in our nature to be selfish, it takes extra effort on our part to be truly sympathetic and empathetic especially to strangers or to people we consider too poor for our liking. It takes an extra effort to invite the poor to our parties. It is not the case that we are not aware that poor people are most in need of free party food, it is just that we feel we stand to gain nothing in return from them.
As St. Paul teaches us in today’s first reading: “do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.” The key to following Jesus’ advice in our Gospel passage is to begin to regard the poor (or less privileged) as better than ourselves.
As a new week begins, I encourage you to touch the life of one poor person this week. Become the answer to someone’s prayer. Invite one poor person to a meal in your house or do something great for someone who has no means of repaying you. The medicine for selfishness is to practice selflessness.
The world is not about you. Until you step into another person’s world, you would always think your problems are the greatest. Reaching out to helping others is not only divine but it is also therapeutic.
Let us pray: Lord, cleanse my heart from all forms of selfishness. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Monday of the 31st Week in Ordinary Time. Year B. Bible Study: Philippians 2:1-4, Psalm 131:1-3 and Luke 14:12-14).