Gospel – Luke 14: 1;7-14
On a sabbath Jesus went to dine
at the home of one of the leading Pharisees,
and the people there were observing him carefully.
He told a parable to those who had been invited,
noticing how they were choosing the places of honor at the table.
“When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet,
do not recline at table in the place of honor.
A more distinguished guest than you may have been invited by him,
and the host who invited both of you may approach you and say,
‘Give your place to this man,’
and then you would proceed with embarrassment
to take the lowest place.
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 every one who exalts himself will be humbled,
but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Then he said to the host who invited him,
“When you hold a lunch or a dinner,
do not invite your friends or your brothers
or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors,
in case they may invite you back and you have repayment.
Rather, when you hold a banquet,
invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind;
blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you.
For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
Reflection on the Gospel
Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God.
In the Gospel today, Christ gave his message of love again. He said that we should not just invite to a meal those who have lots of money so that they will feel like they should help us financially. In other words, we should not invite others to a meal so that we can get something from them. We should invite those who do not have the means to repay us. That is the type of behavior for one who follows Christ. Most of the time, society teaches that you do good to others who have money because it will fulfill our selfish desires. Material things are more important than people. Like the event I told you before, the important thing for the worker was not the t.v., but the person doing wrong. That is why Christ insisted that we not try to gain more and more wealth and accumulate more and more things, thinking that that is the way to happiness. Christ taught that we must not love wealth more than our sisters and brothers. We know that our society too often does not believe what Christ said. Too often society tells us to help others only so we get something from them for ourselves. This is the reason for wars, spending trillions on making weapons, killing lots of people and feeling that we are greater than other nations because we have more material wealth and more weaponry. Christ told us to be meek and humble and to do good to those who wrong us. We should invite all to the table simply because we love them. That is the secret of happiness, salvation.
Member of the Casa Maria Catholic Worker Community in Milwaukee, WI and a long-time peace activist
Saint John Baptist de La Salle – Pray for us.
Live, Jesus, in our hearts – Forever.