Saturday, August 31, 2013

Invite the Poor

By Rev. Joe McCloskey, SJ

My child, conduct your affairs with humility, and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts.  Humble yourself the more, the greater you are, and you will find favor with God.  What is too sublime for you, seek not, into things beyond your strength search not.  Sirach 3:17-18, 21

You have not approached that which could be touched and a blazing fire and gloomy darkness and storm and a trumpet blast and a voice speaking words such that those who heard begged that no message be further addressed to them.  Hebrews 12:18-19

“…[W]hen you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you.  For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”  Luke 14:13-14


Humility is a difficult virtue because we never want to be the last, the lowest and the least.  We prefer to see ourselves as making a difference in our world where place and position and job cause people to be valued more than anything else.  Humility turns people away from what really counts in life.  Our Christ connection is found in surrendering to others.  Christ emptied himself out of what belonged to himself as Word of the Father and took upon himself our lowly position.  Because he emptied himself out of what our world respects and looks for, he was given the name above every other name.  He has the name that we bow to when we are thinking of God’s love for us in his Son.  Humility is the awareness of the truth of where we stand in relationship to Christ.  Christ is our Way, our Truth and our Life.  In Christ our humility has its foundation.  No matter what we do, before Christ I am a poor and unworthy servant.  Christ is the human expression of the mystery of God.


We study how to unite ourselves more fully to Christ.  There are many ways to join ourselves to Christ.  The least person in the kingdom of God has a Christ part.  We are all created in the image and the likeness of Christ.  How we read the Scriptures unites us to a deeper walk with Christ.  We put on his mind and his heart by the scriptures.  He offers us his own life when we celebrate Eucharist.  He becomes us even as in Baptism we are jointed to his life.  We take him into ourselves by every Eucharist and become more and more who we are meant to be by our growth in Christ that happens when we feed at the Heavenly banquet.


Humility is the truth of us as seen in conjunction with Christ.  As we are exposed to his love and his gift of himself, we try to love each other even as he has loved us.  Following the example of Paul, we try to have in ourselves the same mind that we find in Christ Jesus.  We treat each person as better than ourselves.  Sometimes we have to play mental games with ourselves.  I say to myself that if I had your graces, I would do half of the good you do.  If you had my graces, you would do twice as much as I do.  We walk the road of humility by treating every one as better than ourselves.  Humility is the truth of who we are before Christ.  Humility is its own reward, because everyone likes a generous giver.  We all want to be better than we are and when we find ourselves treated as such we cannot help ourselves from admiring the wisdom to the one who sees the great ness we want to be true of us in ourselves. 

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