Taken together today’s readings could remind one of a line from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. The line goes,
“Some for the glories of this world, while some sigh for the Prophet’s Paradise to come.”
For the first part of that, the Gospel pictures a man who sighs for the glories of this world. He grabs the seat of honor at a banquet, only to be told to go down lower.
St. Paul exemplifies the man who longs for the Prophet’s paradise when he says, “I long to depart this life and to be with Christ.”
We are somewhere in between. With Paul we do want to be with Christ in heaven, but we do occasionally sigh for the glories of this world.
We are in a life-long struggle to suppress selfishness and increase faith.