November 5, 2017 — Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
There is no question that Jesus had a way with words. The Word of the Lord is filled with what we are very familiar with in our society — sound bites if you will, which convey so much meaning. The last verses of today’s Gospel from St. Matthew contain one of those short statements which carry so much more meaning. Jesus says, “The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
In those two sentences are found the key to a stewardship way of life, which revolve around service and humility. There is no question that these are powerful words. They reveal to us all that we need to understand to be a true disciple of Christ. In his letter to the Philippians St. Paul wrote, “Though He was in the form of God, He did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but EMPTIED HIMSELF, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, HE HUMBLED HIMSELF by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Phil. 2:5-8).
True humility will be ultimately exalted by God. Our society teaches us to strive to reach the top, but Jesus is reminding us that we need to regard others as more important than we are. We have two choices in life perhaps, to be self exalters, or to be God-exalted. Is there any doubt as to what we as Christians should pursue?