Luke 14: 1, 7-11
How well do I really know myself? Self-awareness is hopefully something that increases on a daily basis through prayer, spiritual reading, conversations, relationships, work, rest and play. And a very important way of growing in my relationship with God and to discern God’s quiet desires for me is through the daily Examen. Reflecting on the day, with God as my light, how has it been an opportunity to be Christ’s disciple? What do I give thanks for? How have I brought about joy, love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control in my life and with those that I have met? Where could I have done better?
Today’s Gospel is yet another example of Jesus’ insight into our humanity – the jockeying for position and ambition which he makes clear are not his ways. Jesus was an astute observer of social behaviours, noticing how people would choose places of honour. In answer to these worldly tactical ploys Jesus is adamant of the outcome – a person will be told to take a lower position and not only this, there will be the added humiliation of the fall from the favoured position in front of others. Self-centred ambition will lead to downfall. Our efforts are better served in following in Jesus’ footsteps so that our ‘light must shine in people’s sight, so that, seeing your good works, they may give praise to your Father in Heaven’ (Matt 5:16).
God knows the inner workings of my heart and mind better than I ever will but I pray that I will answer God’s daily invitation to follow him so that he will invite me to sit close to him at the wedding feast.
Victoria Raw is parishioner of Te Whetu O Te Moana, Star of the Sea Marlborough, NZ and is active in lay ministry.