Gospel Luke 14:1,7-14

“Do not take your seat in the place of honour”

It is something paradoxical, and perhaps even confounding, but humility actually enables us to enjoy things.

This rather preposterous claim stands at odds with much of the received wisdom of our day. So often we esteem the strong and the powerful, those who assert their will on others, and we are told that we need to do the same, to assert ourselves and our wants before others. Indeed, our culture seems to operate in such a way that the vice of selfishness and self-promotion is rewarded, while those who seek meekness and humility are left exploited and ill-treated.

In the Gospel before us today Jesus encourages all to adopt the spirit and practice of humility, not merely on the off-chance that someone will elevate us to a higher place, but so we will be readily positioned to acknowledge everything as the gift that it is.

Humility is a light that helps us to discover the greatness of our own identity, as a personal being, created by God and called to communion with Him. It enables us to accept our dependence on him with complete freedom.

In contrast with this, the proud person does not acknowledge the gift of his or her being, and instead is forced into a position where they must continually assert their very being before others.

Jesus’ admonition to ‘be humble’ is a ‘hot tip’, it is insider knowledge as to how to be eternally happy.