This Sunday’s gospel is always a good lesson for me as a priest: Never assume seating arrangements at functions.
I try NOT to assume where I will be seated; in fact I don’t want seats of honor, just the seats that will be served dinner first. I really don’t like any of that protocols that says where the priest must sit…to me it seems odd. I am just a kid from a very small town in south eastern Ohio.
In fact, I am generallly uncomfortable with gestures of honor, which is more prominent with older Filipinos and Hispanics. It is strange to me.
I also really don’t take compliments very well; hard for me to believe.
Yet, I also ponder this, because I don’t want to be falsely humble. I want to be truly humble. I have a wise person who works with me on this; he pushes me on this inability to accept compliments and the gratitude of others.
I think that a truly humble person accepts the gratitude of others; if I am truly humble I accept those compliments and give thanks to God for the capacity to do whatever I have received a compliment for.
Humility is to accept the role of priest, and then use that role to lift up others, to help others see the divine presence that is already with them.
Hence my need for daily prayer and scripture. It helps to keep me harmony with God and all of the world. God’s grace through the Holy Spirit is the harmony that helps build me up as a humble person, not only a humble priest.
I have a LONG way to go still; but as scripture says: with God all things are possible.