Sunday 9 September 2012

Blessed Francisco Gárate - Do you agree with this statement, “Humility is a funny thing, once you think you’ve got it, you’ve lost it”? Why?

If you wish to read the texts click here: Eph 6:10-18; Lk 14:1.7-11

Br Francisco Gárate was born on 3rd February 1857 and died on 9th September 1929 at the age of 72. The late General of the Society of Jesus Fr. Pedro Arrupe knew him personally and on the 50th Anniversary of Gárate’s death had this to say about him: “he was “a man of God”; he did ordinary things extraordinarily well; and he was “Courtesy” personified.”
He joined the Society of Jesus in 1874, served as infirmarian in a boarding school for ten years, and then for forty-one uninterrupted years as the doorkeeper at the Jesuit University of Deusto in Bilbao, Spain. His day would begin at 5 am when he would serve at the holy Eucharist and ended when he closed the main door to the College however late that might be.
“The holy life led by Brother Gárate is as relevant now as it was in the 1920s. It comes down to living one’s deepest religious convictions, to bring them to bear on the sanctification of one’s daily life, to succeed in determining one’s relations and contacts with others by the great commandment of love. That is the great lesson taught by Brother Gárate during his 41 years as doorkeeper. Is there anything more evangelical? Is there anything more needed today?” 
Brother Gárate was beatified by Pope Paul II on October 6, 1985.
The Gospel text chosen for the feast is from the Gospel of Luke. It includes 14:1, which speaks of a Sabbath setting, and so this text must be seen in that light. The text is set in the context of a meal, and contains instructions on behaviour to guests who were invited. Jesus advocates what may be termed as practical humility, with words from Proverbs 25:6-7. It must be noticed that when the host asks the guest to move down from the place of honour, no term of address, respect or affection is used, whereas when the host invites the guest to move up, the guest is addressed as “friend”. The future tense that is used in 14:11 (“will be humbled”, “will be exalted”) points beyond the immediate situation to the reversal of values that is characteristic of the economy of God’s kingdom. When one realises that God accepts one unconditionally, the result is practical humility.

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