September 20, 2021
by Luis Rodriguez, S.J.
Creighton University's Jesuit Community
click here for photo and information about the writer

Memorial of Saints Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn, Priest, and Paul Chŏng Ha-sang, and Companions, Martyrs
Lectionary: 449

Ezra 1:1-6
Psalm 126:1b-2ab, 2cd-3, 4-5, 6
Luke 8:16-18

Praying Ordinary Time

About these martyrs from Saint of the Day

An Even Better Marriage

There are two opposite extremes on the spectrum of human attitudes regarding the seeking of publicity. At one end are those, who crave the lime light: the show-offs. At the other end are those, who crave anonymity: the hyper-shy. There are also those, who, not because they are hyper-shy, but because of a misguided sense of humility, hide their achievements and their talents.

Jesus addresses this type of pseudo-humility in today’s gospel reading. We are children of light, gifted with a variety of talents and with the light of faith vision, talents that are given to us in stewardship, and we cannot go and dig a hole to hide our talents and light. Allowing our good works to be seen is not against humility, but parading them for applause would be against humility and this is the show-off attitude at one end of the spectrum. Instead of hiding our light, the Lord urges us to let your good works appear, but he adds: so they can see your good works and praise your heavenly Father, not so they can praise you.

In the process some will praise us. Let it be, as long as we do not manipulate them into praising us. No matter how brilliant or mediocre we may be, we all have our “fan club” trying to put us on a pedestal. That is their problem, not ours. Trying to climb on a pedestal would be our problem, not theirs, but being placed on a pedestal by others is their problem, not ours. That some people think highly of us is collateral damage of our way of living.

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