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Taking a Seat

“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted”

Luke 14:7-14

At Mass this morning, the readings were all about humility. We are told to conduct our affairs with humility, to humble ourselves to find favor with God. The greater you are the more He asks of you to be humble. For some, there is a sense that as you attain a certain place in life, either with education or wealth or power, you deserve a more honored place. That is man’s pride speaking.

In the readings from Luke, Christ speaks of the invited guest who boldly takes a most honored place at the table, only to be asked to move to make space for another guest of greater honor. Christ wants to spare us from our own sense of entitlement and the glaring embarrassment and humiliation of our pride.  Instead, when we accept an invitation, we should be glad and grateful for ANY place at the table. We should be so humble as to select the lowest place. We can always be asked by the host to move to a more exalted place. Humility spares us humiliation.

Christ is the greatest Host. As my Lord and Savior, He has set the most glorious banquet. Indeed, it may be in my honor, but I come before Him so humbly. I can barely dare to sit at His table. I feel like I should serve those greater and more honorable and holy than myself. Yet, Christ calls me to the “better seat”.  Every Sunday, I cover my face during the Mass of the Eucharist and say “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, only say the worlds and I shall be healed.” I do not know when I started doing this. It is a very private moment between Christ and myself as I prepare for Communion with Him. I leave my eyes covered because I feel too small to be welcome at His table. I regret my sins and faults and failings. I also know, as He is presented to me and all gathered in His name, that He forgives me. He sanctifies me. Despite my flawed state, He wants me.

The chorus from my most favorite hymn says, “Do not be afraid I am with you. I have called you each by name. Come and follow me. I will bring you home. I love you and you are mine”.  The song continues with “I will come to you in the silence. I will lift you from all your fear. You will hear my voice, I will claim you as my choice. Be still and know I am here.”

Christ is in the precious moments in my life. When my parents chose to baptize me, I was bound to the Lord. I made my sacraments as a young person and reconciled my heart. I acknowledged my sinfulness and accepted that I must continually renew my choice to follow Christ. Each Mass, I share in the body and blood of Christ and He redeems me. I am again welcomed to his table. I took my vows in matrimony. My marriage is a bond to Paul but also an eternal binding to Christ. That I promise to love and serve and obey Christ through my marriage. I renewed my Baptismal vows with the Baptism of each of my sons. With each meal, I give thanks for the bounty in my life. With each adversity or obstacle, I am reminded of Christ’s sacrifice and suffering and I am actually grateful for my own lonely path.
I celebrated my birthday this weekend. Christ is the host at the banquet of my life. I pray that all I do is in His service. I pray each time I see a patient. Do they need to know that I pray for them? I do not think so. I pray as I prepare my family’s meals. I pray as I fold their laundry. I pray whilst doing all my chores as a homemaker. I pray when I sign my employees paychecks. I pray when I start my car. I pray as I lie down to bed each night, thankful for my husband and all the abundance in my life. I offer a pray of thanks when my eyes open in the morning, knowing God has given me another day. When people are kind I give thanks. When people are harsh, I pray for them. For the smallest of conveniences, I give thanks. Today is a blessed day and I am grateful. I am welcome in my Father’s house and He has set a place just for me.

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