Word Sharing Circle (WSC) Reflection Guide
November 5, 2017 – 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle A, Year I)
Community Word: God exalts His faithful servants.
Theme: God exalts those who serve others with humility.
Promise: “… whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Mt 23:12b)
God saved us for His purpose. He uses our lives to serve Him and His people. As we are called to service, He is ready to give us power and strength, gifts and abilities that we need to perform our mission. But many of us reject the responsibility thinking that we are not worthy or capable or available, that we look lowly in the sight of others. But if only we are meek and allow ourselves to be used as instruments, we will see that God’s grace is sufficient for all our needs in any situation we are in.
The missionary George Bowen writes: “Whatever hinders us from receiving a blessing that God is willing to bestow upon us is not humility, but the mockery of it. A genuine humility will ever feel the need of the largest measures of grace, and will be perfected just in the degree in which that grace is bestowed. The truly humble man will seek to be filled with all the fullness of God, knowing that when so filled there is not the slightest place for pride or for self.”
Our theme for the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time states: God exalts those who serve others with humility. As members of the Body of Christ, we are called to serve others. Just as there is no non-functioning part of our human body, there ought not to be a non-functioning member of Christ’s body. A church, community or ministry functions well when everyone uses his or her gifts to up-build other members. We should not boast about our great talents and unique gifts; instead we should serve others with sincere humility. Blessed Giles of Assisi said that “the way to mount high is to descend.”
Our humility must be inward and genuine, not a performance to be seen by others. Whatever we do for others should come from a sincere heart and, needlessly, it will show outwardly. While in most situations serving the poor and needy can be rewarding, there are also times when we could feel some frustration out of it. Sometimes, we feel used, unappreciated, and disrespected. We begin to struggle with temptation to quit as we are exposed to judgements on one hand while facing lots of responsibility on the other. Then we become depressed when we start seeing people’s indifference and we feel unimportant. In the end, we simply want to have nothing to do with it and leave. When this happens, it is time to seek and desire the Holy Spirit who will empower and give us the grace to face these insurmountable trials. He purifies our thoughts, words and actions, allowing us to be renewed and to always realize that service is for God’s greater glory and for the love of Him. Servanthood is not about us.
People in power and position should be reminded that while they possess authority, such authority is not absolute. As leaders, they should never lord it over the people under them and they should be role models instead of leading them astray. Servant leaders and stewards in community are expected to serve and not to be served, out of obedience and dedication to God, our one and only Master. They are accountable for their actions, not to be proud that they are given better talents and skills than what others have. We should be reminded that in church or community, we are family and everyone is of equal importance in the God’s eyes.
When we serve out of pure love and compassion, not expecting anything in return, our reward is so much greater than we could ever imagine. We are living the life of a true servant which is the greatest reward of all because the Lord promises, “… whoever humbles himself will be exalted,” (Mt 23:12b). God will exalt us at the proper time. Our time on earth may require earthly honor and adulation, but our final and true exaltation will be eternal in heaven.
Lord Jesus, set me free from fear and heal the wounds of pride in my heart that I may be a servant of love and compassion for others. Fill me with the joy of the Holy Spirit and transform me to be meek and humble that I may give of myself generously and serve others faithfully for Your sake. Amen
1. What are those things that hold you back from accepting God’s call to serve Him through your fellow man?
2. How do you overcome the feeling of pride and self-importance when you attribute your capabilities and successes as your own, without recognizing the ultimate Source of your gifts and talents?
This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
November 5, 2017 (Sun) – Mal 1:14-2:2, 8-10/Ps 131:1-3/1 Thes 2:7-9, 13/ Mt 23:1-12
November 6, 2017(Mon) – Rom 11:29-36/Ps 69:30-34, 36/ Lk 14:12-14
November 7, 2017(Tues) – Rom 12:5-16/Ps 131:1-3 /Lk 14:15-24
November 8, 2017(Wed) – Rom 13:8-10/Ps 1125:1, 2, 4-5, 9/Lk 14:25-33
November 9, 2017 (Thur) – Ez 47:1,2,8,9,12/ Ps 46:2,3,5,6,8,9/ 1Cor 3:9-13,16-17/Jn 2:13-22
November 10, 2017 (Fri) – Rom 15:14-21/Ps 98:1-4/Lk 16:1-8
November 11, 2017(Sat) – Rom 16:3-9,16,22-27/Ps 145: 2-5, 10,11/ Lk 16:9-15
“Ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Christ. Read your Bible daily!”