Jesus warns of the deadly sin of pride and urges men to be humble. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by pursuing the Virtue of Humility so he can think less of himself and more of God and by building the Virtue of Justice so he can recognize and honor the dignity of every soul God has created.
30th Week in Ordinary time – Saturday – Lk 14:1; 7-11
Despite the Pharisees’ ongoing schemes to trap and kill Him, Jesus accepts the invitation for a Sabbath feast from a prominent Pharisee, knowing the Pharisees and scribes are watching, hoping to catch Him in some error. Responding to the duplicitous Pharisees’ attempt to set a trap for Him by “planting” a man with dropsy at the meal, Jesus immediately goes on the offensive, and heals a man with dropsy on the Sabbath, falsely considered to be a sin by the Pharisees; Jesus silences them by using scripture to confirm they would save an oxen who fell into a well on the Sabbath, validating it is just to heal on the Sabbath because a man is more valuable then an ox.
Jesus again attempts to break through the Pharisees’ rigid rules-bound religious myopia after watching them pitifully jostling for seats closest to the host to gain honor. He proposes and critiques two seating strategies, asserting the humble approach is the better. Jesus’ summary is a glimpse of the Judgment: he who exalts himself will be humbled (least in the Kingdom of Heaven or, worse, to end up in Hell) and those who humble themselves will be exalted (great in the Kingdom of Heaven).
Jesus boldly rebukes and publicly corrects the prominent Pharisee host. Jesus directs the man to stop inviting his family and friends to his banquets and to start inviting the poor. Rather than settle for the short-term selfish benefit of getting invited to other banquets, Jesus tells the man to aspire to gain the reward of the resurrection.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be stunned by Jesus’ blunt criticism and correction of the Pharisees: rather than false politeness, Jesus Courageously (a part of Fortitude) provokes the Pharisees with both an act (healing on the Sabbath) and words (denouncement of their prideful jostling), even though He knows they will murder Him; despite their hatred of Him, Jesus, the perfection of Charity, Admonishes and Instructs (Spiritual Works of Mercy) the Pharisees, seeking to draw them to repentance; the perfection of Humility (a part of Temperance), Jesus uses Logic (a part of Reason) to explain why embracing humility is reasonable.
Humbly think less of yourself and more of God
Realize: While men pridefully seek status, puffing up resumes, bragging about accomplishments, buying flashy vehicles and other showy material things, and trash talking, Jesus condemns pride, publicly rebuking and shaming the Pharisees for their arrogance and attention-seeking public displays.
Believe: Reflect upon Humility (CCC 299, 1450, 2219, 2540, 2546, 2554, 2559, 2631, 2713, 2753, 2779).
Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Humility, help me build the Virtue of Humility (a part of Temperance) so I can recognize the my own pride and vanity, I clearly see my many flaws and sin and my desperate need for Your salvation, and I pray for Your help to to think less of myself and more of You and the needs of others.
Recognize and honor the dignity of every soul
Realize: One antidote for the poison of seeking self-honor, is to build a habit of honoring others; recognizing the dignity of every human being is an important step.
Believe: Reflect upon the truth that Man is Created in the Image of God (CCC 355-361, 380-381) and the Dignity of the Human Person (CCC 225, 1699-1715, 1934, 1944, 2334).
Pray: Almighty Father, help me build the Virtue of Justice so I joyfully accept differences in people, and recognize and uphold the dignity of every human soul, each of whom, though it is not always obvious due to the disfiguration of sin, is created in Your image and likeness.