The Gospel reading from the Mass for Saturday of the 30th Week of Ordinary Time is Luke 14:1;7-11.

Despite numerous clashes with the Pharisees and their ongoing schemes to trap and kill Him, Christ accepts the invitation for a Sabbath feast from a prominent Pharisee, knowing the Pharisees are watching, hoping to catch Him in some error. Christ goes on the offensive and heals a man with dropsy on the Sabbath, a sin according to the Pharisees; Christ silences them by pointing out they would save their child or oxen who fell into a well on the Sabbath.

Christ again attempts to break through the Pharisees’ rigid rules-bound religious myopia after watching them jostling for seats closest to the host to gain honor. He proposes and critiques two seating strategies, asserting that the humble approach is the better. Christ’s summary is a glimpse of the Judgment: he who exalts himself will be humbled (least in the Kingdom of Heaven or, worse, to end up in Hell) and those who humble themselves will be exalted (great in the Kingdom).

Having made a general rebuke to the prideful Pharisees, Christ boldly rebukes and corrects the prominent Pharisee host. Christ directs the man to stop inviting his family and friends to his banquets and to start inviting the poor. Rather than settle for the short-term benefit of getting invited to other banquets, Christ tells the man to aspire to gain the reward of the resurrection.

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, Christ asserts His dominion over the Sabbath and reveals the reality of the resurrection and how one can be rewarded. Son of Man, Christ boldly and fearlessly confronts the Pharisees.  Divine King, Christ aggressively and authoritatively directs the murderous Pharisees. Divine Teacher, Christ has a keen eye for men’s behaviors and sins and offers clear direction to help men become holy. Divine Judge, Christ mysteriously reveals one of the criteria (humility) of His Judgment.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Even though the Jews are trying to kill Him, Christ continues to attempt to teach and convert their hearts with powerful lessons. Marvel at Christ’s graciousness to those who hate Him.

2) Men pridefully seek status, puffing up resumes, bragging about conquests and trash talking; Christ condemns the pride and hypocrisy of the Pharisees.  Reflect upon the Virtue of Humility (CCC 299, 1450, 2219, 2540, 2546, 2554, 2559, 2631, 2713, 2753, 2779) and pray for Christ to awaken you to your own pride “blindspot” and to help you become the humble man He demands you to be.

3) One antidote for the poison of seeking self-honor is to build a habit of honoring others; recognizing the dignity of every human being is a important step. Review the Dignity of the Human Person (CCC 225, 1700-1715,1934, 1944, 2334) and pray for Christ to help you recognize the dignity of every person, each of whom is created in the image and likeness of God.