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For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.
Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke 14:1, 7-11
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.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Natural and Supernatural Virtue
For every natural virtue, there is a supernatural virtue that comes from Grace. The interesting thing is that acts that come from natural virtues have no supernatural value; they have no value for eternal life. So, we may think we are very good, but in reality, we have no merit, and furthermore, we become proud by thinking highly of our own actions. The reality is that without the Lord, I can do nothing. Even if I could… without Charity, I can do nothing.
For grace to act, we must first be in a state of grace and then welcome the actual grace that God gives us in every situation. The merits that come from His grace are the ones that have value for God and eternal life. This way, when I humble myself, grace can act, and it is grace that elevates me to God.
Applied to married life
Marta: I have always had good intentions. As a child, I was good. I didn’t wish harm upon anyone. As an adult, I’ve always cared for others. I’ve felt a lot of compassion.
Andrés: Yes, your mother always says you were a very good girl. And now, it’s true that you are very dedicated to others.
Marta: But something is wrong with me, and it’s that all of this has made me proud: I’ve demanded that others treat me as I would according to my natural talents. The result is that I’ve become very demanding with you and others. And, furthermore, I’ve believed I am better.
Andrés: Well… that’s also true. It’s your dominant vice.
Marta: The problem is that everything good I do has no value if it’s not God’s grace working through me. And for that, I have to be humble so that He can act. Will you help me?
Andrés: Count on me, my wonderful wife. Don’t worry, this attitude you have now is one of humility. If you maintain it, the Lord will make you not just good, but holy.
Help us understand that without humility, we won’t get anywhere, because everything is the work of grace. Help me always take the lowest place. Blessed be God who desires to exalt us.