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22nd Sunday

In the first reading we heard very wise words:   ” There is no cure for the proud man’s malady, since an evil growth has taken root in him.” Pride is one of the principal sins. The Catechism lists it in the first place. Why?  When pride takes root in a person’s life, it bears the fruit of other evil acts. From pride, other sins are born.  The angel of light, through his pride, said to God: “I will not serve you” and became an evil spirit. Through pride, the first people sinned because they wanted to be like God. Through pride, Cain killed his brother Abel because he could not accept that God accepted Abel’s sacrifice and would not accept his sacrifice. Through pride, the disciples of the Lord Jesus argued over who among them was more important. The scribes and Pharisees exalted themselves and considered themselves the best preservers of the precepts of the Law . There is good and bad in each of us. There is humility and pride in each of us.  They make up our nature, day by day.  From an early age, we want to be the best. We dream of the first place on the podium. It fills us with pride to have super passed the exam. In the future I will have a career,   I will be famous. And so vanity, pride, creeps into our lives. It slowly puts down its roots. And after a while it starts  not to  bother us anymore. Well, what’s wrong with wanting to be better than others, wanting to always win and to mean more than others?  And this is where you have to stop and ask yourself. What prevails in me? Respect and love for the other person or my selfishness? Do I think about the welfare of others? Or is it only about myself?   There is a film called The Devil’s Advocate.  Its message is still very relevant today. Satan constantly tempts man. He draws him away from truth, from honesty, from true love. He suggests various ways and ideas to turn a man away from the Lord God and show his dominion. Towards the end of the film, these words are said: “Vanity is my favourite sin”.

Those invited by the Pharisee to the feast chose their first seats. Some probably wanted to be closer to the host. Others wanted to show off their clothes. Still others hoped for better food. The Lord Jesus does not approve of such behaviour. And that is why he told the parable of the first and last places at the feast. The Lord Jesus speaks of the humility that should characterise us: ” When someone invites you to a  feast…, make your way to the lowest place and sit there.” To the humble host  says: ” My friends , move up higher.”  Our presence at the Eucharist is a time of learning humility. Jesus Christ, God and Lord humbled himself. He became Man, accepted the hardships of earthly life. He laid down Himself for the sins of the world as the Lamb of God. His Mother, Mary, the humble Handmaid of the Lord, is a model for us of serving the Lord God in humility.  As we receive Jesus in Holy Communion, let us ask Him for the grace to overcome in ourselves the sin of vanity and pride.