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Word Alive–Fr. Bel San Luis, SVD August 28, 2022 / 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Our Lord Jesus declares in today’s gospel, “When you go to a party, sit in the lowest place.” Obviously, Jesus, in his hyperbolic way of stressing a point, said that nobody should sit in the “cabisera” or presidential table otherwise a greater guest would arrive. One should rather take the last place and would be honored when he’s called to sit at the presidential chair.

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What Jesus means is a conscious striving to consider oneself always lower to others or avoid blowing one’s own horn.

As the book of Sirach puts it: “The greater you are, the more humble you should behave, then you will find favor with the Lord” (Sir 3,18–first reading).

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Humility is truth. Being humble doesn’t mean suppression of one’s personal attributes or an abject self-depreciation.

It doesn’t consist in a beautiful woman calling herself ugly, or an intelligent man calling himself stupid otherwise it’s false humility.

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Remember: Jesus proclaimed, “Learn from me for I am meek and humble of heart” and likewise said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” Mother Mary in her song of the “Magnificat” openly said, “Henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.”

While Jesus and his mother never denied their lofty standings. they never boast or blow their trumpet publicly like the hypocrites did.

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Humility is also gratitude. A humble person knows how to thank God for blessings of wealth and talents he or she has received. A certain well-off benefactor wrote to me, “Father, I donate to your Adopt-A-Seminarian scholarship program because my wealth did not come from me alone but from God.”

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There are also wealthy businessmen who put up foundations that support poor students; others share their resources to the less fortunate by providing jobs.

The humble man remembers that all he is, and all that he has, comes from God. Unlike the proud man, the humble does not mistake the gifts of God for his own sole achievement.

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Let’s follow the example of the Lord who said, “Anyone who humbles himself will be exalted.” Do this not only in words but more in action.

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CONDOLENCE—to the bereaved mother Milagros Reyes and children on the passing away of ILSA REYES, youngest child, who succumbed to cancer of the uterus. Ilsa devoted her life in serving the Church, the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) and seminaries in various ways like giving retreats and talks, writing books and editorials. She also immersed herself in numerous media apostolates like co-hosting our SVD “Salitang Buhay” program, and emceeing in various TV programs, particularly the “7 Last Words” produced by the SVD Mission Communications Foundation.

“Eternal rest grant unto, Ilsa, Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her.”


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