Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
September 2, A.D. 2007
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Psalm 68:4-5, 6-7, 10-11
Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24a
Luke 14:1, 7-14
A reflection on today's Scripture:
Go into any good bookstore, and you'll find plenty of "How-To" books.
The Bible has a famous "How-To" book as well. We used to call it Ecclesiasticus (meaning "Church Book"), but today it's referred to more often as the Book of Sirach. It's filled with practical ethics and instructions about many things-how to raise your children, how to choose friends, and many other matters.
Our First Reading this Sunday takes some passages about humility from Sirach. It reminds us that everyone loves a humble person, especially God. If we're humble, we won't go searching into topics that are way over our heads, but rather listen to wiser minds that can explain them to us. Listening makes us wise.
Jesus' advice in Luke's Gospel for this Sunday is even more detailed.
Of course, Jesus probably upset the religious leaders He was talking to when He advised them not to push and shove their ways into the best seats at a banquet. Won't they be embarrassed to have the host come along and tell them that they're in the wrong place, and they'll have to go down to a lower place at the table!
Instead, Jesus advises, "If you take a lower place in the first place, won't you be honored when you're told to take the higher place you really wanted!"
Then He added some advice that must really have upset them. He tells them that when they make out their dinner invitation lists, they're not to invite their wealthy friends and relatives, but rather those who can't pay them back-the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind! "Let the Lord pay you back!" He adds.
That's a rather difficult teaching, not only for the religious leaders of Jesus' day, but for us as well. The Church calls it the "preferential option for the poor." Our communities must make room for everyone!
- Msgr. Paul Whitmore --
Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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