18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in that I rejoice.19 Yes, and I shall rejoice. For I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance,20 as it is my eager expectation and hope that I shall not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.
21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
22 If it is to be life in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell.23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.24 But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.
25 Convinced of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith,26 so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.
1 One sabbath when he went to dine at the house of a ruler who belonged to the Pharisees, they were watching him.
7 Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he marked how they chose the places of honor, saying to them,8 “When you are invited by any one to a marriage feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest a more eminent man than you be invited by him;9 and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place.
10 But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher’; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you.
11 For every one who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
St PAULS epistle penned from his prison cell, takes the form of a personal meditative prayer reflection. Although he find himself between a rock and a hard place, Paul nevertheless rejoice knowing that the philippi community is praying for his deliverance. Whilst it is true that Paul had a strong desire to be with Christ, he is equally at peace to continue to be in service of the philippi people.
THE GOSPEL READING: The Pharisees were surprised to see that our Lord chose to be seated with those of a lower standing whilst they sat in seats reserved for the hoi polloi. Recognizing the awkward demeanour of the Pharisees Christ used the occasion to tell a parable that is aimed at those of us who have the false notion that our place is secured in heaven!
Just because we are practicing and believing servants of Christ, it does not suppose that our bed is made in heaven. Rather than being overtly presumptuous about our salvation we need to take the lower seat, remain in a state of grace—free from mortal sin–allow our tears, pain and suffering to be balm for our soul whilst we wait on Christ to move us up to a higher state of blessedness and virtue.
LET US PRAY:Psalms 42:2-3,5
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God?3 My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me continually, “Where is your God?”
5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help.
Commentary. Henry R SYLVESTER Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days.
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