When we are children, we all have those moments
when we are trying to get mom or dad’s attention.
Look, mom! Look! Look! LOOK!!
Of course, our parents want to look and see what we’re doing;
But they might be driving, or fixing dinner,
or getting other work done, and they can’t always look.
They might even get irritated.
But let me tell you something,
and this is true no matter how young, or how old, you are:
parents never stop wanting to look at their children. Never.
Whenever I have a baptism, afterward, I ask to hold the baby.
You know what happens: if the baby is peaceful and content
in her mother or father’s embrace, she getting agitated and cries.
Then, when I give the baby back, he’s calm again.
That infant recognizes his parents, but doesn’t recognize me.
That connection literally begins with conception,
and cultivated in a thousand ways from that point on.
That complex reality of love and trust and interdependence
is absolutely necessary for each of us to be healthy and balanced.
Not just as children but throughout our lives.
On the other hand, some children do not experience this, early in life, and that can leave a wound that it can take a long time to heal.
What I’m describing happens both on this natural plain,
and on the supernatural level.
All this came to mind because of what happens in the Gospel:
People jostling for the best seats; not because they are most comfortable,
but because they gain the attention of the host.
They want to impress, or they need to push some agenda.
But consider: if you have a solid relationship with the host,
why do you need to do any of that?
This is the key to true humility: knowing who you are;
having that peaceful, confident relationship with God.
What passes for humility – downing myself, denying our gifts –
is actually false humility.
Accepting mistreatment, being a doormat –
is not only false humility, it is a destructive distortion.
True humility comes from having that good relationship with God,
and therefore, having security and confidence.
That enables you and me to acknowledge our gifts
and accept our weaknesses. We know who we are in God.
Then there’s no need to impress anyone.
So, the natural next question is, how do I get to that place?
Just as baptized child needs to be in his or her parents’ arms,
So you and I need to have a strong relationship with God.
Without that, we have a spiritual wound, an insecurity.
We don’t fully know who we are.
That friendship with God requires more than an hour a week.
It needs periodic apologies and patching things up;
In spiritual terms: a regular examination of ourselves,
And frequent use of the sacrament of confession.
Today is a good day to ask: do I have that friendship with God?
And to do the work to build that friendship.
Then any seat in the house is the best seat.