28 Oct – Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Lord, The Righteous Judge
The Lord is our judge. The one thing we know for certain about his judgement is that it favours the humble, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
– the Sunday Missal
Ecclesiasticus 35:12-14, 16-19
The Lord is a judge
who is no respecter of personages.
He shows no respect of personages to the detriment of a poor man,
he listens to the plea of the injured party.
He does not ignore the orphan’s supplication,
nor the widow’s as she pours out her story.
The man who with his whole heart serves God will be accepted,
his petitions will carry to the clouds,
until it arrives he is inconsolable,
nor will he desist until the Most High takes notice of him,
acquits the virtuous and delivers judgement.
And the Lord will not be slow,
nor will he be dilatory on their behalf.
2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18
My life is already being poured away as a libation, and the time has come for me to be gone. I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to the finish; I have kept the faith; all there is to come now is the crown of righteousness reserved for me, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that Day; and not only to me but to all those who have longed for his Appearing.
The first time I had to present my defence, there was not a single witness to support me. Every one of them deserted me – may they not be held accountable for it. But the Lord stood by me and gave me power, so that through me the whole message might be proclaimed for all the pagans to hear; and so I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from all evil attempts on me, and bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Jesus spoke the following parable to some people who prided themselves on being virtuous and despised everyone else. “Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a Pharisee, the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood there and said this prayer to himself, ‘I thank you, God, that I am not grasping, unjust, adulterous like the rest of mankind, and particularly that I am not like this tax collector here. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes on all I get.’ The tax collector stood some distance away, not daring even to raise his eyes to heaven; but he beat his breast and said, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner.’ This man, I tell you, went home again at rights with God; the other did not. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the man who humbles himself will be exalted.”
This week has been, for me, a lesson in humility. I learnt two main things. First, there are always three sides to a question: the two sides that are being fought for, and the third side which is the truth.
The second thing I learnt is that I am afraid of not being right, so much so that I will find all sorts of ways to justify how right I am in a particular situation. When asked, “Could you be wrong?”, it took me some time to realize that, hey, I could be wrong even if I didn’t think that I was wrong or feel that I was in the wrong. I learnt that humility is not a feeling, but an act of the will. First think that I could be wrong, then ask God to show me how I could have been wrong. Then when I realize my mistake, acknowledge that I have been wrong, and say ‘I’m sorry’ to the person I offended.
I learnt that it is always better to think that I am in the wrong than to think that I am in the right, especially when people have been hurt, division has occurred, and friendships have been harmed.
If I think that I am in the wrong, and I really am in the wrong, then I will be ready to acknowledge my mistake and make amends.
If I think that I am in the wrong, and it turns out that I am actually in the right, then others involved will point it out.
If I think that I am in the right, and it turns out that I am actually in the right, nothing really happens.
If I think that I am in the right, and it turns out that I am really in the wrong, I won’t believe what anyone else says and insist that I am in the right. That leads to hardness of heart.
As Pope John XXIII says: In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity. Giving way to another person, especially for the sake of unity, requires humility, and is one of the hardest virtues to acquire.. yet, one of the most essential.
Dear Lord, help me to grow daily in true humility. Amen.
Give Thanks to the Lord for: A lesson in humility.
Mon, 29 Oct – Romans 8:12-17; Luke 13:10-17
Tue, 30 Oct – Romans 8:18-25; Luke 13:18-21
Wed, 31 Oct – Romans 8:26-30; Luke 13:22-30
Thu, 01 Nov – Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14; 1 John 3:1-3; Matthew 5:1-12a; Solemnity of All Saints
Fri, 02 Nov – Daniel 12:1-3; Romans 6:3-9; John 6:37-40; All Souls
Sat, 03 Nov – Romans 11:1-2a, 11-12, 25-29; Luke 14:1, 7-11; Memorial for St. Martin de Porres, religious
Sun, 04 Nov – Wisdom 11:22 – 12:2; 2 Thessalonians 1:11 – 2:2; Luke 19:1-10; Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time
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Disclaimer: The reflections expressed in this e-mail are the writer’s own. They may not necessarily reflect the teachings of the Catholic Church. Nonetheless we should all be able to learn something from it.