August 28, 2016 — Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
SIR 3: 17-18, 20, 28-29; PS 68: 4-7, 10-11; HEB 12: 18-19, 22-24A; LK 14: 1, 7-14
The First Reading in today’s Holy Scripture is from the Old Testament Book of Sirach. At times this Bible book has also been called the Wisdom of Sirach. Similar to Proverbs, Sirach is a series of teachings recorded between 200 and 175 BC.
The first verse of this reading captures one of the key elements of stewardship. It says, “My child, conduct your affairs with humility, and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts.” The word “humility” literally means “of the earth” or in a phrase which might mean more to us “down to earth.” The good steward realizes that he or she receives everything from a loving and generous God. That can be a humbling recognition.
“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less,” is how the eminent author and theologian C.S. Lewis put it. We are important in the eyes of God. Jesus emptied Himself in our behalf. He was humility incarnate. Washing the feet of His Apostles, He comes to us at every Mass in common bread and wine.
If we practice and pursue stewardship as a way of life, we choose to let others be more important; we are not controlling; we support others in silent ways. Are you willing to let God take charge of your life? Being a steward means that. That is the message from Sirach, and it is a message given us by Jesus over and over.