Today’s Gospel: Luke 14:1, 7-11
Optional Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Throughout Luke’s Gospel, Jesus is closely observed for his table fellowship. How he eats, what he eats and who he eats with all are social cues that bewilder some onlookers and become lasting lessons for his disciples and fodder for his enemies.
In today’s Gospel, he dines with a leading Pharisee, a man of presumed social importance. At the meal, Jesus notices how guests, taken by the prestige, are jockeying for the most favorable tables. Jesus offers a parable with an ironic surprise. He suggests that rather than vie for the top seat and run the embarrassment of being moved aside by someone even more important, one ought to seek the lowest seat and thus be enviously elevated to a higher place.
In today’s world, celebrity and fame are probably the closest relatable experiences to this dinner party described in the Gospel. We may have experienced such moments at a wedding reception, awards dinner, or fundraiser. Or, like our children, we may have experienced this type of behavior in the cafeteria, the selection of teams for P.E., or who gets the coveted seats (or offices) by the windows.
We must always remember, this parable is not in isolation, but part of the larger message of the Gospel. It is not just how you get to be in places of reverence, but what you do to get there. Jesus’ way is through humility and through solidarity and service with the lowly.
Lord, where I sit
Is where I can best do Your Will.
Around your altar…
So that I might share your Body and Blood with others.
In the world…
So that I can image you in others.
In my home…
So that you are the Honored Guest at our table.
We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.
Copyright 2015 Jay Cuasay