Here is part of today’s Gospel, from St Luke: ‘When you are invited by anyone to a marriage feast, do not sit down in a place of honour, lest a more eminent man than you be invited by him; 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. 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 honoured in the presence of all who sit at table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted’.

To go with that text, here is the beginning of St Benedict’s teaching on humility, as set out in the holy Rule: ‘Holy Scripture crieth out to us, brethren, saying: “Everyone that exalteth himself shall be humbled, and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted”. When it so speaks, it teaches us that all exaltation is a kind of pride, which the prophet shows that he has shunned in the words: “Lord, my heart is not exalted nor mine eyes lifted up; neither have I walked in great things, nor in wonders above me”. What then? “If I was not humbly minded but exalted my soul, as a child weaned from his mother, so dost thou requite my soul”’.

It is as we step out of that way of humility, of the truth of who and what we are, that we find ourselves separated from God. So let us today simply and gently draw near to God, aware of our true nature, knowing that He welcomes us in our poverty as the loving Father. May God bless you.