22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
When I listened to this reading, I noticed these words:
"the guests chose the places of honour"
That seems a little odd for two reasons:
Why were the GUESTS choosing where they were sitting?
When you go to someone's home for dinner, don't they usually tell you where you should sit at the table? Or they might tell you to choose your seat, but you wait until they say that, right? I think Jesus must have thought this was odd, too, because he tells this parable when he noticed people choosing the best places for themselves.
Also, who should have the greatest place of honour?
We know there are important people and people who deserve lots of respect, but who do we know who deserves even more than just respect? Who deserves honour? Who is the greatest of all? Of course, it is Jesus.
Jesus, the light of the world.
Jesus, the Good Shepherd who calls his sheep by name.
Jesus, who gave his body and his whole life in the bread and wine at the Last Supper, before the soldiers ever came to take it away.
Jesus who died and rose to new life, never to die again.
When we are with Jesus, what can we do to show that we know how great he is? We can make ourselves small. This is called humbling ourselves.
As children, you have an advantage. You are already small (😉). And Jesus doesn't mean we actually have to walk around on our knees all the time, but we do need to keep in mind the right order of things: God first.
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the greatest and first commandment. (Matthew 22:37-38)
And because we love God, we can love others, too.
“You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39)
When we make sure others are getting good seats, that everyone's needs are taken care of, that no one is upset, we are also humbling ourselves.
When we humble ourselves, what does Jesus call us?
“Friend, move up higher!”
It's good to be called Jesus' friend, isn't it?