Little Whispers, Tal Jalandoni

I See You

First Reading
Sirach 3:17-18, 20, 28-29

My child, conduct your affairs with humility,
and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts.
Humble yourself the more, the greater you are,
and you will find favor with God.
What is too sublime for you, seek not,
into things beyond your strength search not.
The mind of a sage appreciates proverbs,
and an attentive ear is the joy of the wise.
Water quenches a flaming fire,
and alms atone for sins.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 68:4-5, 6-7, 10-11
R. (cf. 11b) God, in your goodness, you have made a home for the poor.

The just rejoice and exult before God;
they are glad and rejoice.
Sing to God, chant praise to his name;
whose name is the LORD.
R. God, in your goodness, you have made a home for the poor.
The father of orphans and the defender of widows
is God in his holy dwelling.
God gives a home to the forsaken;
he leads forth prisoners to prosperity.
R. God, in your goodness, you have made a home for the poor.
A bountiful rain you showered down, O God, upon your inheritance;
you restored the land when it languished;
your flock settled in it;
in your goodness, O God, you provided it for the needy.
R. God, in your goodness, you have made a home for the poor.

Second Reading
Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24A

Brothers and sisters:
You have not approached that which could be touched
and a blazing fire and gloomy darkness
and storm and a trumpet blast
and a voice speaking words such that those who heard
begged that no message be further addressed to them.
No, you have approached Mount Zion
and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem,
and countless angels in festal gathering,
and the assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven,
and God the judge of all,
and the spirits of the just made perfect,
and Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant,
and the sprinkled blood that speaks more eloquently than that of Abel.

Gospel
Luke 14:1, 7-14

On a sabbath Jesus went to dine
at the home of one of the leading Pharisees,
and the people there were observing him carefully.

He told a parable to those who had been invited,
noticing how they were choosing the places of honor at the table.
“When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet,
do not recline at table in the place of honor.
A more distinguished guest than you may have been invited by him,
and the host who invited both of you may approach you and say,
‘Give your place to this man,’
and then you would proceed with embarrassment
to take the lowest place.
Rather, when you are invited,
go and take the lowest place
so that when the host comes to you he may say,
‘My friend, move up to a higher position.’
Then you will enjoy the esteem of your companions at the table.
For every one who exalts himself will be humbled,
but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Then he said to the host who invited him,
“When you hold a lunch or a dinner,
do not invite your friends or your brothers
or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors,
in case they may invite you back and you have repayment.
Rather, when you hold a banquet,
invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind;
blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you.
For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”


photo-1527192491265-7e15c55b1ed2

“Go and take the lowest place so that when the host comes to you, he may say, ‘My friend, move up to a higher position.’” (Luke 14:10)

REFLECTION
One day, I was at a meeting for work. An argument arose wherein my company was being held responsible for a certain issue. Somewhere in my mind, I knew the allegation was true. I felt humiliated and I instantly became defensive, angrily spouting out the first excuse that I could think of. Awkward silence. I felt all the more ashamed as I saw how childish and unprofessional I was being, and imagined how the people around must have been thinking the same of me. I found myself in a worse situation.

Like some people, when I’m insecure and don’t feel good about myself, feel ignored, unknown and unseen, I feel tempted to prove myself and overcompensate. But as I read today’s readings, I felt God saying there is no longer a need to fight for a place at the table, to prove anything, for He already saw me for who I am. I felt the Lord looking at me, seeing me as I enter His dining place. I am recognized, known, seen, liked and loved.

When we find ourselves in a low place, God reminds us that He sees us. And He calls us to be still and just be where we are – to let Him come for us and bring us to a place of honor.

Reflection Questions
When do I feel insecure, that I need to prove myself or assert my worth? In those times, do I trust God and give Him room to be God? How do I think God sees me?

Prayer
Jesus, please give me an extra portion of Your love today, that my insecurities might fall away and see myself as You see me. Give me the humility to be still and let You meet me where I am to bring me to where You meant me to be. Amen.

Author

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Photo by: Shridhar Gupta (@shridhar at unsplash.com)

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