Year C 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sir. 35:15-17, 20-22; 2 Tim. 4:6-8, 16-18; Lk 18:9-14
Today's First Reading from the Book of Sirach draws our confidence in the Lord so we may rely upon Him in all our undertakings. The reading states that, the prayer of the humble pierces the clouds, and it will not rest until it reaches its goal; it will not desist
until the Most High responds and does justice for the righteous, and executes judgment. Indeed, the Lord will not delay." 

Today's reading from the Gospel of Luke also speaks of humility. As we heard in the Parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, the Pharisee judged himself as righteous, viewing others in contempt.  Jesus told his listeners looking at the tax collector, "I tell you, this man went back home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted." 
In today's liturgy the Church gives us the message to be humble.
As I was browsing through the net I came across a number of interesting lessons in humility in the life some well known people.
Ingvar Kamprad, The founder of IKEA, has a net worth of $ 3.4 billion. According to a 2006 Reuters article, he flies only economy class and chose to drive a 1993 Volvo 240. Aside from that, he prefers to take the bus from time to time. He reportedly recycles tea bags and is known to pocket the salt and pepper packets at restaurants. 
N. R. Narayana Murthy, The co-founder of Infosys travels by a company bus on Saturdays. Simplicity, humility and maintaining a low profile are the hallmarks of this super-rich Bangalorean. The man still doesn't know how to drive a car. On Saturdays - his driver's weekly off - he is driven to the bus stop by his wife, from where he boards a company bus to work.
Azim Premji, The chairman of Wipro Limited often takes a three-wheel auto rickshaw to and from the airport.
Tim Cook, The CEO of Apple still wakes up at 4 AM to go to work every day.
There were also some great world leaders who set examples in humility. Jose Mujica, Uruguay's former president was the "world's poorest president" for good reason. Mujica was shot multiple times and spent 14 years in jail in harsh, isolated conditions. When he was elected Uruguayan president in 2009, Mujica donated 90 percent of his presidential salary to charity and ditched the lavish presidential palace, opting instead to live in his ramshackle farm with his wife. For the longest time, his sole personal asset amounted to a 1987 Volkswagen Beetle.
Joyce Banda, shortly after being elected the first female president of Malawi, sold off the presidential jet and the fleet of 60 Mercedes limousines in an effort to steer the then-struggling country to financial austerity.
Sushil Koirala, was Nepal's prime minister for a short time. In a nation where politicians are typically associated with wealth, Koirala's only declared assets while prime minister were three mobile phones. Before moving into the official prime minister residences, the BBC reported that he rented a house in Kathmandu. Koirala is also said to have stayed with his brother when he visited the city instead of a hotel.
The Bible  places great emphasis on humility. The birth of Jesus, Life of Jesus, Washing of the feet of the Apostles, death on the cross and  burial in the borrowed tomb are the lessons Jesus set before us. In the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector Jesus  tells us that if we are humble we will find favour in the  presence of God.
St Peter wrote, "All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud   but shows favour to the humble." (1 Pet 5:5-7)
But the reality is that much of the world is far from humble. They leverage our increasingly-connected society to display their wealth. While there's certainly nothing wrong with having or making money, there is something wrong with trying to rub it in others' faces, especially those that are struggling even to make ends meet.
Many of us have no idea what's really going on with others. We have no idea of the struggles that they're facing, or the difficulties that they're attempting to overcome.
Humble people know their self-worth. As a result, they don't feel the need to cast themselves before others just to show them how much they know. Instead.
Humility is the true key to success. Successful people lose their way at times. They often embrace and overindulge from the fruits of success. Humility halts this arrogance and self-indulging trap. Humble people  are ready to  listen to others with understanding.
Dr Kumar was a gastroenterologist. One day he got a call from Mr Ahmed. He said, " Doctor my wife is really ill. She got terrible stomach ache. She can't bear it. Can I come and see you?" He said, "By all means."
The doctor examined her and found that she  has an infected appendix. The doctor said, "A surgery has to be done and she will be alright." Surgery was done and they left the hospital.
One year later Abdul called the doctor again. He said, Doctor my wife has got a stomach ache. Please do the appendix operation."
The doctor said, "Listen! I am a doctor. I will examine her and find out what is her illness and then will decide the treatment." But Abdul insisted, "No doctor, fix up the time for operation. We will come" The doctor was losing his patience. He said, "Let me see the patient and do the diagnosis." But Abdul insisted on the operation.
The doctor was furious. He said, "Let me tell you every human being has only one appendix. I removed it from your wife." Abdul waited patiently for the doctor to finish.  Then he said, "Doctor, one human being can have only one appendix. But a man can have two wives."
Clearly, it's important to be humble. We can all do our part to show more humility in life, even if we think we might lack the capacity to do so. Humble people are interested in adding value to the world. They look beyond their immediate needs and consider the needs of others. They ask themselves how they can bring true value to the world and to the lives of others. By showing  humility, we become more grateful for the things that you have, rather than simply desiring the things that you don't have.
Let us learn to be humble and appreciate the blessings of God.
Satish