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Your Goal In Life

He who humbles himself will be exalted
Luke 14:1, 7-14

Sermon Topic Ambition

Sermon Week Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle C

Scripture Summary Luke 14:11


A woman had just returned home from a lecture given by a prominent member of the Feminist Movement. Her five-year-old daughter greeted her with the announcement that she wanted to be a nurse when she grew up. Still bubbling over with enthusiasm for the lecturer's point of view, the mother said, "My dear child, just because you are a girl doesn't mean you will have to settle for being a nurse. You can be a great surgeon, or a brilliant lawyer, or a famous fashion designer. You can even be President of the United States. You can be anything!" As she pondered her mother's words, the little girl's face began to glow with excitement. Clearly, a whole new world of possibilities was opening up to her. "All right, then," she said, "I'll be a horse."

All right, then, what will you be? What is your life's ambition? What is your ultimate goal? In today's Gospel Lesson, Jesus lectures some Pharisees on this very subject. He tells them that it all boils down to a choice 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).

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 puffed up with pride in their exalted status as experts in the Law of God that they are having difficulty experiencing the Presence of God. He knows that they give only lip service to the proposition that their primary goal in life is to lead their people into closer union with God. He knows that instead of leading the people into a fellowship in the Spirit of God's Universal Love, the Pharisees are advocating a narrow, proud isolationism. And He knows that in focusing primarily on themselves, those Pharisees have lost sight of God.

On the morning of July [...]

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