Cycle C Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

As a pastor, people often ask me to pray for them, adding that they think the priest has a more direct line to God and will obtain results faster. The reading from Sirach reminds us that God shows no partiality. The one who God bears best is “the one who serves God willingly!” In many ways, the lowly “ordinary” person’s prayer may be beard by God long before the prayers of the priest. “The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds; it does not rest till it reaches its goal, nor will it withdraw till the Most High responds.” Thus, perhaps instead of asking the priest to pray we should ask those we consider the least likely.
Paul talks today about being “poured out like a libation.” In our service of God, do we ever feel like such? Do we find ourselves being drained as we do what God has asked of us? If such is the case we are in good company. Jesus’ blood was poured out for you and me. As his disciples, should not ours be poured out as well? The key is not when or how we are poured out but have we, like Paul, kept the faith even in face of trials or desertion by our friends?
As a priest, I have often heard people say to me, “I am not a bad person” or “I haven’t done anything that bad.” Such are the same people to whom Jesus addresses today’s parable. Both of these comments stem from people who are “convinced of their own righteousness.” Such a person is looking at others and comparing themselves favorably to those otl1ers. The only one we should be comparing ourselves with is the master, Jesus himself. Who comparing themselves to God can say “I am not a bad person” or “I haven’t done anything that bad?” As we hear today’s Gospel let us humble ourselves before God.

Author: yuengerwv

Retired Catholic Priest

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