29th Sunday of the Year (B) 2018

We are so used to people blowing their own trumpet that we take it for granted.
We should be aware that self-praise is no praise. It amazes me how often I listen closely to someone telling me about all they do and have achieved, and more or less believing it. Even we can recommend a person for a job or a position solely on the strength at what that person has said about themselves. We make an art of self-promotion and self-deception.
When I feel the need to praise myself or the amount of work I do or to emphasise how busy I am, it is because I am unsure of myself or of my abilities. Self-praise demonstrates my weakness rather than my strengths.
Today’s Gospel reading is alien to the mores of this world.
It emphasises the gulf which exists between life in the Kingdom of God and our everyday life and aspirations. And I quote “You know that those who are recognised as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
It surprises me that so many of you here in St’ Patrick’s parish do spend so much time and energy in service to others. Your example helps me, and I am sure many others, to do a reality check on our own commitment to service to others.
The seats at the high table in the Kingdom of God will not be allocated to the dignitaries of State, Church or commerce but to those whose lives have been ones of humble service.