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Friday, 26 August 2022 18:23

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C - 2022

22nd Sundary in Ordinary Time - Year C

Gospel of Luke 14:1,7-14


Who is the most important?


Bill Burt 150In 2018, I attended the episcopal ordination of Bishop Ewald Sedu, in Maumere. Maumere is a very Catholic town, on the very Catholic island of Flores, in very Christian eastern Indonesia. Not surprisingly, this ceremony was a very grand affair. It took place on an afternoon, on a huge open space, which was beautifully decorated, in the centre of the town. More than 100,000 people were present. There were dozens of bishops, the Vatican Ambassador, hundreds of priests and religious, a choir of more than 100 voices, as well as a huge number of civic leaders including the Provincial Governor, and many other dignitaries. The music accompanied by wonderful dancing contributed to the special atmosphere.

All who humble themselves shall be exalted TwitterA couple of weeks later, Bishop Ewald met with the clergy of his diocese. He talked with great joy about his experience of being ordained on this truly memorable occasion. Towards the end of his address, he raised an interesting question. He asked, “In Jesus’ eyes, who do you think was the most important person present at the ordination?”

The obvious answer was, “the new bishop”! However the new bishop expressed a different view. Taking the passage from the Gospel of Luke that is being read at Mass all around the world this Sunday, he reflected upon the fact that in God’s eyes, “the first might be last, and the last first”. Then he quoted the passage from the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 10, verses 13-16, in which Jesus speaks about the importance of children.

He said that while he had the most important role of the day, he wasn’t in fact the most important person. The other leaders, both civic and religious, who were present, also had important roles, but they weren’t the most important people.

Then he talked about a young boy with Down’s syndrome who was present at the ceremony. He was full of joy and excitedly moved around in front of the altar, oblivious to any distraction he might have caused by his spontaneity.

This young person represented all the children and “little people” present. Surely God looked upon him with joy too.

The reflection of Bishop Ewald can remind us that, while everyone is important, children and “little people” have an extra special place in the sight of God, and hopefully in our sight too.

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In the spirit of reconciliation, the Society of the Divine Word, Australia Province, acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea, sky, and community.

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