1 September 2019. Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time. Cycle C.
Jesus, on his way to Jerusalem, is invited to eat at the home of one of the leading Pharisees. He was not the only guest, but he was the centre of attention, because “they were spying on him,” says the Gospel. Jesus also observed the behaviour of the Pharisees and saw how they chose the seats of honour at the banquet. He does not let the opportunity pass without giving them his teaching: it is better to be humble than proud, simple than cocky.
Also, in our day, in our society, wanting to appear more than we are seems to be a very common fault. We seek recognition from others, that they speak about us, that they take us into account, that we are protagonists. Social networks and media are good instruments to show more about how we want it to appear rather than who we really are. Vanity of vanities. It is a way to find the leading places. Only appearances.
That is why today the call of the attention of Jesus is for us. He asks us to live by other values. He offers us humility before vanity, before appearances: “Whoever would be the greatest among you must be your servant. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted”. The whole life of Jesus was an example of a service and dedication to others: “I have not come to be served, but to serve.” For those who, like him, dedicate their life to the service of others, it is for those that are reserved the leading places.
The apostles, wrongly, sought the positions of honour in the Kingdom of God, and were admonished by Jesus. Mary offered himself as a servant of the Lord, who praised the humility of his handmaid. Who seems more to me?
Juan Ramón Gómez Pascual, cmf