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The good news for the day October 29

Saturday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time (484)

(One Sabbath Jesus went to a meal at the home of one of the religious leaders, a Pharisee, and the people present were keeping a close eye on Jesus.) He told a story to get across a point to those who had been invited—noticing how some were choosing to sit in places of honor at the meal. “When you are invited by someone to a wedding reception, you do not look to find a seat at the main tables. A more distinguished guest than you may have been invited; the host who invited both of you may come up to you to say, ‘Let this man have your place’ Then you would go—embarrassed—to sit at the lowest table. Rather, when you are invited, go and sit at the lowest place so that when the host comes to you he may tell you, ‘My friend, move up; go to a higher position.’ Then you will enjoy the esteem of your companions at the table. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 13)

This illustration serves you and me as a reminder of Ego—the illusion of success, the idol of superiority.

You and I want to be recognized, to be considered worthy of honor by others—to have people see us, smile and say, “Come on up here.”  This seems to be inborn in us—neither good nor bad—a standard motive. This story really assumes it is a good thing to get a place of honor.

The Good News is not that it is wrong, but that worth—honor—is not a matter of charm or popularity, but of humility. It is not a matter of self-promotion, but of service, lowliness and acceptance. Pride—of place, of ego, of accomplishments—is a vice, not a virtue, in the Bible. The opposite is what both life and Jesus call for—to serve, to consider yourself worthy when, aware of your faults, you remain modest–honest—sharing creaturehood, limits and—in the end—equality with everybody else.

But better is the conviction that, above all, you are not any better than anyone else. As simple as that. It makes you happy. It eases life. It is Good!

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