Daily Reflection – Oct 29, 2016
Saturday 29 October 2016
First Reading: Philippians 1:18-26
My soul is thirsting for the living God
Psalm 42(43):2-3, 5
Gospel Reading: Luke 14:1, 7-11
Today’s Note: Saturday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
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 everyone who exalts himself will be humbled,
but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Christ will be magnified in my body. (Philippians 1:20)
A magnifying glass is a fascinating instrument. It can reveal the beauty and complexity of even the smallest particle of God’s creation. But we also may find things that we’d rather not know about—all the imperfections and invaders that live on the surface of our own skin, for example.
In a similar way, turning a spiritual magnifying glass on ourselves can lead us to rejoice or to cringe. It all depends on what we are focusing on. In today’s Gospel, the guests in a Pharisee’s home are alert for Jesus’ tiniest misstep. They are scrutinizing his every action in search of a reason to accuse and denounce him.
Thank God that when Jesus looks at us, he is not searching for our faults, failings, and missteps. He’s looking for traces of God’s image in us. He is on the lookout for every generous thought, every kind deed, and every gracious word. He wants to find them and highlight them so that he can encourage them to grow brighter. Of course he sees our faults and failings. Of course he hears our unkind words and feels our resentments and harsh judgments. But that’s not what he focuses on. He knows they’re there, and he wants us to turn away from them. But his strategy is to help us build up our virtues rather than dwell on our vices. For that reason alone, we have no reason to cringe under his loving gaze.
What is it like when you turn your magnifying glass on other people? You can criticize or encourage; the choice is yours. You may find it easy to see the faults—everybody does. You may not even need a magnifying glass! But if you search intently with the light the Holy Spirit provides, you will likely find much to praise. Ultimately, you’ll see Jesus himself magnified in the people around you. You’ll be aware of all the ways his life is on display, even if it’s just a glimmer. Then, you can love Jesus in them and forgive them as Jesus forgives them—even as he forgives you!
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”