Rather, when you are invited, go and take the lowest place so that when the host comes to you he may say, 'My friend, move up to a higher position.' Then you will enjoy the esteem of your companions at the table. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted."
No one likes to be last and certainly not the Boston Red Sox or New England Patriots fans (or Celtics and Bruins fans). As a matter of fact, being first and winning it all is the goal for most of us fans, and for many of us, if the World Series title and Super Bowl win escape us, even with a winning season, we are greatly disappointed and sad. It’s so strange.
Last place, the lowest place, is to be detested and speaks of failure. It is dark gloom for many fans. Can’t we simply appreciate and celebrate the efforts of men and women on sports teams who give it their all, who try but still fall short? We’ll all admit that’s quite difficult to do especially when there are years of last place finishes, and we still pay high-priced tickets watching athletes making millions of dollars.
Consider that Boston is called “Titletown of the 21st century.” The Boston Globe had an article on Thursday entitled “For Red Sox fans, it never gets old: Familiar parade winds through Boston as city celebrates being undisputed Titletown.” We’ve had 11 professional sports championships in 16 years. This success can lead to arrogance. As a result, fans from other teams want us to be humbled.
Jesus tells us to take the lowest place and not take the places of honor at the table. He reminds us that humility makes us stand out and be noticed. He is our coach urging us not to recline at the table in places of honor. Honor comes with one’s disposition and not position at a table or any other place.
Like other good and effective coaches, such as Alex Cora, Jesus knows how to lead. We just have to decide to follow him to the lowest place.
Deacon David Pierce