Many times when I go to wedding receptions, I purposely stay by the bar and wait for the bride, groom, or parents of the bride and groom to approach me. They may see me and then invite me to sit by grandma at one of the head tables. For some reason, the priest always sits by grandma, which is perfectly fine with me. Many grandmas are meek and mild and very respectful. Grandmas usually live longer than their husbands so grandpa is usually not beside me.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples to first take the lower place at a wedding reception. Do not assume, Precious Blood brothers and priests, that you will sit beside grandma or the family of the bride and groom at the wedding reception. Do not think so highly of yourself. “For every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted” (14:11)
Paul tells us in Scripture that we are to think of others as more important than ourselves. Today we hear from the prophet Sirach, who says, “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” (3: 18–21).
Do we at times think too highly of ourselves and our capabilities? I know that when I was younger many people told me I could be anything I wanted to be. So I searched for external titles and rewards that would gain the attention of others. But what I needed to ask myself was, “What type of gifts has God given you, Tony?” I admired and still admire many of our Precious Blood members when I was growing up at St. Peter and Paul Parish in Ottawa, Ohio. Even now I am tempted to take on some characteristics of some of our C.PP.S. members, but whenever I start that type of thinking, I lose myself. I start becoming someone God did not make me to be.
My relationship with God is far greater than any reward I can have as a C.PP.S. member and as a priest. External rewards fade away and not too many people remember them. Jesus, you are enough for me. I just need to impress you, God, first and foremost. God bless you all.