October 23, 2016 — Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
The First Reading today comes to us from the Book of Sirach, which was once known as the Wisdom of Sirach. As is the norm with Sirach, he gets right to the point in the first verse of the reading: “The Lord God is a God of justice who knows no favorites.”
We are all familiar with the idea of favorites: we may have a favorite color, or a favorite food, or a favorite flower. However, it is comforting to know that God has no favorites. We are all His children. This fact is reinforced over and over in the Bible.
Consider the following: “For there is no favoritism with God.” (Romans 2:11); “For the Lord your God is the God of gods…who favors no person and accepts no bribe.” (Deuteronomy 10:17); St Peter opened a sermon with these words: “In truth, I see that God shows no partiality.” (Acts 10:34). We may sense that God does not have favorites, that He loves us all equally, that we all can be saved, but we also need to note that God cannot be bribed or bought.
What God expects of us is for us to be disciples, to be good stewards, to live righteous lives. If we sincerely do that, if we pursue holiness as we are called to do, then truly as the Lord tells us in today’s Gospel, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” God is good — to all of us.