Twenty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 28, 2016
“Humble yourself the more, the greater you are,
and you will find favor with God.
What is too sublime for you, seek not,
into things beyond your strength search not.”
Sirach 3:18, 20
We are asked to be humble, not in order to be great or holy but in order to . . . be humble! We do not or should not seek humility in order to achieve greater status or holiness or even so that God will look kindly on us and reward us, but because this is quite simply the right thing to do. In this Year of Mercy, humbling ourselves will truly help us to show mercy to all those who deserve it.
We are asked not to try to do things that are beyond our competence and talents. We all know musicians who overreach themselves in order to “put on a good show” or prove how capable they are. Sometimes we may be tempted to do the same. But we also know in our hearts that doing simpler things better is preferable to doing more elaborate things less well. Trying to imitate our local cathedral—and failing through lack of resources—is not really beneficial to anyone. But doing simpler things superbly well will find favor not only with God but with our assemblies!
Once again, the key is humility. If we make ourselves humble, try not to show off, and yet offer the very best to God and to our people, at a level that we can manage, then the results will indeed be sublime.
God who understands us only too well,
give us the gift of self-discernment so that we may know realistically what we can achieve.
Favor us with a desire to serve your people with humility,
so that their voices, not ours, may ring out in praise to you.
Strengthen our hearts and minds to know your will more clearly,
so that the sung prayer of our communities will be the very best that it can be,
and that we may be blessed in all our endeavors.
Liturgy and Music Consultant and Composer