On one occasion when Jesus was going to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat a meal on the sabbath, they were watching him closely.
When he noticed how the guests chose the places of honor, he told them a parable. “When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honor, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host; and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, ‘Give this person your place,’ and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place.
But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
This past week, our Protestant brothers and sisters celebrated the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses. As we continue to pray for unity among Christians, we should also be grateful for the changes and reforms that came out of the Reformation. St. Charles Borromeo, whose feast we celebrate today, responded to and corrected some of the problems present within our Church in the 1500s. His willingness to look at an institution that he loved and identify its flaws ultimately helped it to grow into a better version of itself.
Today’s Gospel reminds us that “everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” It takes humility to look at our own actions, or those of an institution that we are a part of, and to make the necessary changes to bring it more in line with God’s desire for us.
What is an aspect of your life that you can look at humbly, and make changes to more closely align with God?
—The Jesuit Prayer team
Almighty God, you have generously made known to human beings the mysteries of your life through Jesus Christ your Son in the Holy Spirit. Enlighten my mind to know these mysteries which your Church treasures and teaches. Move my heart to love them and my will to live in accord with them. Give me the ability to teach this Faith to others without pride, without ostentation, and without personal gain. Let me realize that I am simply your instrument for bringing others to the knowledge of the wonderful things you have done for all your creatures. Help me to be faithful to this task that you have entrusted to me. Amen.
—Prayer of St. Charles Borromeo