(Begin by reading the Gospel. Better yet, ask someone to read it to you. The Word is meant to be heard.)
In the Gospel for this Sunday, Jesus gathers with a bunch of people for dinner in the home of one of the Pharisees. The guests at the dinner jostle each other to get a good seat at the table. Who are they most concerned about? Apparently, themselves.
When Jesus noticed how the guests chose the places of honour, he told them a parable. “When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honour, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host; and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, ‘Give this person your place,’ and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place.
Invited to a wedding feast and only thinking about themselves? Whom should they be thinking about? Things are out of order!
At a wedding feast, we all want the attention of the people getting married because we are excited for them, because we love them. Jesus tells us how to get that attention:
When you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, “Friend, move up higher.”
Honestly, this could be the start of a funny situation. What if we all try to take the lowest seat? We elbow and hip-check each other in order to be the one who gets the lowest place. Now we are fighting again—to see who can be the least! Obviously, this is not what Jesus means for us to do.
If we worry about where we are sitting, we are not focusing on the most important thing. We missed the most important thing Jesus says.
you are invited
When we consider who the host of the feast is, do we need to worry about where we sit? We have to remember whose table this is.
We have been invited! This is something to celebrate! We have already been honoured with the call to build the Kingdom of God.
“when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
Jesus tells us that there are people who still need to be invited. There are people waiting to hear the call, to be invited to join in building the Kingdom. There are people who need to be invited into community with us.
“invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind”
What can we say about these people? Each one needs help in some way. These are people who might feel left out. We are given something to do.
Wherever we are we can take a look around. Who has a need? As school begins, we encounter many people with many needs. Sometimes this is obvious like those with special needs. But sometimes these needs are not so obvious. They can be covered by anger or rudeness, hidden by shyness and silence. We can ask ourselves, who does God want me to invite to the table?