November 3, 2018
by Tom Drzaic
Creighton University's Human Resources
click here for photo and information about the writer

Saturday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 484

Phil 1:18b-26
Psalms 42:2, 3, 5cdef
Luke 14:1, 7-11

Praying Ordinary Time

Throughout my life, I have witnessed many wonderful people achieve high levels of success. Whether it be professionally, academically, or quietly giving of themselves offering their time, talent, and treasure for their family or organizations dedicated to helping others.  It is only natural to often take pride in these accomplishments. In today’s gospel Jesus shares a parable on the need for humility and the downside of seeking attention.

While reflecting on today’s gospel, a recent experience came to mind. Earlier this year I had the opportunity to visit a group in Croatia that serves people with mental disabilities. Our visit was on behalf of a local organization I am affiliated with that has supported this group for the last 15 years.  To show its appreciation, the Croatian group provided a welcome that included local politicians and media. It was something I will never forget.

It was later, when I wanted to share this experience with others, that the paradox between the virtue of humility and the desire for pride came to mind.  Was I sharing this experience to highlight the great work this organization does and to garner future support?  Or, was it to get the most likes and shares on my social media post?  Did I want to share it with our organization’s national newspaper to highlight the group? Or, was it to receive recognition?

As I struggled with this I realized, to remain humble, I had to answer two more important questions.  The first, are all who helped being recognized and appreciated?  This was exemplified by Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the moon.  Neil was renowned for his ability to remain humble despite his celebrity and accomplishment.  A common response of his when he was asked about that first step on the moon would be “I was certainly aware that this was the culmination of the work of 300,000 to 400,000 people over a decade”.  The second is am I doing this to walk with and live out the mission of Jesus to serve God or is it to serve myself in any way? Only when the answer to these two questions is, yes can I feel that humility and pride are rightfully balanced in my life.

As we work to live out God’s mission for us let us always remember to heed the words of Jesus, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

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