Catholic mass readings
November 03 Saturday
30TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Whether with false motives or true, Christ is proclaimed, and for that I am happy; and I shall go on being happy, too, because I know that this is what will save me, with your prayers and with the support of the Spirit of Jesus Christ; all in accordance with my most confident hope and trust that I shall never have to admit defeat, but with complete fearlessness I shall go on, so that now, as always, Christ will be glorified in my body, whether by my life or my death. Life to me, of course, is Christ, but then death would be a positive gain. On the other hand again, if to be alive in the body gives me an opportunity for fruitful work, I do not know which I should choose. I am caught in this dilemma: I want to be gone and to be with Christ, and this is by far the stronger desire and yet for your sake to stay alive in this body is a more urgent need. This much I know for certain, that I shall stay and stand by you all, to encourage your advance and your joy in the faith, so that my return to be among you may increase to overflowing your pride in Jesus Christ on my account.
Now it happened that on a Sabbath day Jesus had gone to share a meal in the house of one of the leading Pharisees; and they watched him closely. He then told the guests a parable, because he had noticed how they picked the places of honour. He said this, ‘When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take your seat in the place of honour. A more distinguished person than you may have been invited, and the person who invited you both may come and say, “Give up your place to this man.” And then, to your embarrassment, you will have to go and take the lowest place. No; when you are a guest, make your way to the lowest place and sit there, so that, when your host comes, he may say, “My friend, move up higher.” Then, everyone with you at the table will see you honoured. For everyone who raises himself up will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be raised up.’
Jesus’ parable of the guests invited to the marriage feast exposes our way of seeking honour and position. Self-promotion is most often achieved at the expense of others! True humility is not feeling bad about yourself, or having a low opinion of yourself, or thinking of yourself as inferior to others. It frees us from preoccupation with ourselves, whereas a low self-opinion tends to focus our attention on ourselves. True humility frees us to be ourselves and to avoid despair and pride. A humble person makes a realistic assessment of himself without illusion or pretence to be something he is not. A humble person does not have to wear a mask or put on a facade in order to look good to others who do not know who he really is. He is not swayed by accidentals, such as fame, reputation, success, or failure. Humility enables us to see and judge correctly, the way God sees. The Lord gives grace to those who seek him humbly. Wouldn’t you want to be a humble servant in the eyes of God?