But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Jesus isn’t speaking against people who are important or honored in the community, but the way in which people obtain recognition. When we exalt ourselves, there are two issues: it often sounds self-serving, and it may come at the expense of others. The danger is that in seeking the acclaim of others, we may miss the goal to be accomplished.
When we go about our tasks in a humble manner, using God’s gifts for the good of His kingdom, we may be noticed and applauded, even though that is not our aim. Jesus teaches that doing what we are called to do without fanfare is the right way to share God’s love.
Think about the things you do today. Are they for God’s glory or your own? Is what you do merely to be noticed by others or to serve others according to the Great Commandment – love God and your neighbor as yourself? When we act out of love of others rather than love of self, God blesses our efforts.
Gracious God, we are thankful for the gifts You give, and we know they are not for us to keep but to share with and serve our brothers and sisters. Help us to be humble servants that we may be called to “move up to a better place” at Your heavenly banquet. Amen.