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A Dog's Life

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the man who humbles himself will be exalted
Sirach 3:17-18,20,28-29; Psalm 68:4-7,10-11; Hebrews 12:18-19,22-24; Luke 14:1,7-14

Sermon Week Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle C

Scripture Summary Luke 14:11

With so much turmoil, political discord, and violence in the world, a very caring teacher decided to dialogue with her sixth graders each morning before the day's lessons. As you would expect, one morning, the discussions turned to the children's dreams and ambitions for their future. One girl, whose family was greatly affected by the Pandemic, explained that she would like to become a doctor, so she could help people just like the doctors did for her grandfather when he was hospitalized with the virus. A boy said he would like to be a psychologist because they help kids understand things like bullying, depression, and healthy friendships. And then came the turn of a kind and thoughtful young girl. The teacher braced herself because she knew how deeply world events had affected this student. "If I could choose to be anything," the girl began, "I'd be a dog. They don't have to wake up scared every morning; all they want to do is love you."

Though it's sad to hear, there is more than a grain of wisdom in that young girl's answer. And these days, I can't say that I blame her with so much to worry about in our troubled world.

And so, what do we say as adults whose most important job is to guide and protect our children? What is your life's ambition? What is your dream? In today's Gospel Lesson, Jesus lectures some Pharisees on this very subject. He tells them that it all boils down to choosing between two possible attitudes: pride or humility. "For every one who exalts himself will be humbled," He says, "and he who humbles himself will be exalted" (Lk. 14:11). Sadly, those sixth graders know more about humility than the adults who have lost sight of God and instead, focus primarily on themselves.

Notice that Jesus is addressing His remarks to a group of religious leaders -- men of God. Jesus knows, however, that because of their misguided and exaggerated zeal for the laws of their religion, their lives have become more self-centered than God-centered. He knows that they are so [...]

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