September 28, 2014 – Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jesus was in many ways the ultimate example of humility. Yet, humility is not a trait that is highly thought of in our society. We live in a world where independence and relying on no one else is considered to be a high form of expression. For the past few weeks, our second readings have been drawn from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians.
Most of the New Testament consists of letters (epistles). Philippi was a major city in Macedonia, which is part of Greece. When Paul evangelized there, it is believed that it was his first venture into what we consider today to be Europe. Paul felt a warmth and closeness to the Philippians, and that is demonstrated in his letter to them. It is nonetheless his appeal to them as a community that provides us with an important stewardship message in today’s reading. St. Paul says, “…humbly regard others as more important than yourselves.” This is a direct reference to how Jesus lived.
If we lived in a community where everyone else regarded each of us as more important (everyone else looked up to us; and we in turn looked up to everyone else), what a community it would be. Each of us would be elevated, lifted up by all those around us. What the result would be is an unbelievable sense of unity. That is what Paul calls the Philippians to, and it is what Jesus calls us to through stewardship.