Twenty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

In some of his plays, Shakespeare tells the lives of some English Kings.  One of them was Richard II.  In true life,  he became King when he was very young.  He was powerful and successul; his court was famous for its art and culture,  and people obeyed him.  But one day, everything changed. He lost his throne,  he lost his crown,  in his last appearance, he was the humiliated prisioner of the new king. This man who had known so much honour and glory spent his last days in a solitary prison.  We all know of people who at one moment experienced great success in politics – just think Boris Johnston and Richard Nixon ,  just think of Harvey Weinsten and Bill Cosby in entertainement and a lot has been written about sports personalities, who expericned falls from garce – Lance Amstrong in cycling who admitted in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that he had been taking performance enhancing drugs throughout his career; Tiger Woods in golf who suffered a disastrous downfall in 2009, happilly married with children, after his adulterous nature boiled to the surface, he suffered a divorce and lost advertising contracts with huge brands; Oscar Pistorius, the notorious blade runner in Sounth Africa had a disastrous fall from grace after shooting dead his long term girlfriend; O.J Simpson in American Football, because there was not enough evidence to convict him of killing his ex-wife and her friend, his defence team managed to get him off; Maria Sharapova in tennis when she failed a drugs test; and many others. Some time ago the Manager of the Miami Dolphins American Football team, Don Shula was on holidays with his family in Maine. One day as it was raining, he decided to go to a movie with his wife and five children. There was only six other people present when he went into the cinema. When he walked in all six people stood up and applauded him. He waved and smiled and turned to his wife and said: ‘we’re a thousand miles from Miami and they’re giving me a standing ovation. They must see my team on the television here. One of the people came over to shake hands with him. He asked the man; ‘How did you recognise me?’ The man replied: ‘Mister I don’t know who you are. All I know is that just before you and your family walked in, the cinema manger told us that unless four more people showed up, we wouldn’t have a movie today. Maybe this happens to us; we have our moments of glory,  and we have our moments of disappointment.  In this weeks gospel, Jesus gives us some good advice.  He uses the example of guests attending a banquet and their ambition to be in the ifrst places.  Jesus advises us to be prudent and not let selfishness hijack our ambitions.  The banquet that Jesus is talking about is life itself;   and Jesus tells us that the best place is not with the high and the mighty it is with the people we love and the people who love us.  In this way the follower of Christ can always find his way in life,  and be happy there.  Sometimes we may think that humility means putting ourselves down or thinking little of ourselves. Humility is something far more profound and far more beautiful than that. Humility means to be like Jesus, who said: ‘Learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit. Humility means to live as Jesus lived, not for ourselves but for others. The small beatitudes: Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves, they will have no end of fun. Blessed are those who can tell a mountain from a molehill, they will be saved a lot of bother. Blessed are those who know how to relax without looking for excuses, they are on their way to becoming wise. Blessed are those who think before they act, and pray before they think, they will avoid many blunders. Blessed are those who recognise the Lord in all whom they meet; the light of truth shines in their lives, for they have found true wisdom.