August 28, Sunday of the 22nd Week in Ordinary Time
Daily readings: Sirach 3:17-18, 20, 28-29, Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24, Luke 14:1, 7-14
The Lord will promote us not because of our accomplishments but because of what we have given and done for those who cannot repay us.
I once heard a priest say that no one truly humble can ever say they are humble. Indeed, doing so is in itself an exaltation of oneself.
So, how can one be humble? The readings this Sunday tell us.
In the first reading, a humble person is great—someone who has achieved his full potential according to the treasures and talents God has given them. They don’t credit such an achievement to themself but acknowledge that everything is grace. If we are great, it is because God is great and gives us that grace to partake of His greatness. We can never boast of anything significant on our own.
In the ways and eyes of the world, man is exalted for every bit of success. Many of us are too attached to titles, positions, and recognition. We love that title of honor before our name and the letters that follow our family name. Don’t we feel so proud when seated at the so-called presidential table in public and social gatherings? Oh, how we feel bad when we are not recognized. How we feel ignored when we are not given attention to how we expect it to be.
The Gospel today strongly admonishes against seeking attention and recognition. It tells us that we are not to seek honor or recognition for recognition’s sake. We are not to place ourselves on a pedestal. Instead, we let God exalt us because of what we sincerely did for the poor, the lost, and the last. The Lord will promote us not for what we have achieved but for what we have given to and done for those who can never repay us.
Our frequent trips to the communities in the mountains for our Love the Poor Program draw inspiration from today’s Gospel. Taking those problematic routes to reach out to the poor, whom we do not know and who have nothing to give back, has given us that different level of joy. Many have asked what we get from what we do. Some even suggested that we apply for some awards. I was asked to submit certificates to prove my mission involvement for ranking at the university where I teach. But truth to be told, I don’t have any certificates. I don’t see the need for any award or recognition. Deep in my heart, I know I have already been truly rewarded.
Humility allows the Lord to work in us and through us. Whatever we have is not about us. It is the Lord’s.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.