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Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

Phil. 1:18-26 & Lk. 14:1, 7-11

“Life to me, of course, is Christ.” Saint Paul could have made these words the motto of his life. Ever since Christ blinded him and he fell from his horse on the road to Damascus, he lived and breathed Christ. He longed to leave this world and be with Christ. But he knew Christ still had work for him.

“Death would bring me something more”, he wrote referring to the fact that he would see the face of Jesus. “If living in this body means doing work which is having good results”, drawing others closer to Christ, then this had to be done. He sees the dilemma and all he wants to do is what Christ would want. Let us live our life along those lines, desiring with all our hearts to be with Jesus in Heaven, but adding not my will Lord Jesus, only Yours. If I am still alive then I know You still have work for me to do and so I want only what You want.

At a meal to which Jesus had been invited, in today's Gospel, He noticed the jostling that went on among the guests for the places of honour. He gave this good advice, “Take the lowest place at a wedding party for all who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” He was not telling us to do something He never did. Jesus humbled Himself on Earth by taking the form of a servant, and His Father gave Him the most exalted place in Heaven to sit at His right hand and the name which is above all names. (Phil 2:9-11).

Pride about who we are and what we have prevents us from entering into a deeper union with Jesus. God has made us free so that we can choose to love Him better than ourselves. When we admit our need for God, His work of lifting us up can begin.

There is so much pride in our nature that prevents us from acknowledging our true condition. Without even noticing it, we count ourselves great in the kingdom of God. Recognising these mistaken attitudes can be a doorway to deeper union with Christ as we seek to follow Him.

Lord Jesus, You became a servant for our sakes, to set us free from the tyranny of sin, selfishness and conceit. Help us to be humble as You are humble, and to love freely and graciously all whom You call us to serve.

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