Daily Gospel Reflection - Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Bishop Robert Barron
Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Lk 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."
*United States Conference of Catholic
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, our Gospel today is the famous passage from Luke’s Gospel dealing with honor at a banquet. Jesus has been invited to the home of a prominent person, one of the "leading Pharisees," and he notices how people jockey carefully for position, status, prominence.
Who will notice me? Who can I impress? And Jesus puts his finger on the most desperate scenario for an egotist. Trying as hard as he can to be noticed, he gets noticed but for all the wrong reasons! His egotistic games backfire dreadfully, as everyone sees him reduced to embarrassment. So what’s the solution? Stop playing the game. Take the lowest place on purpose. Opt out.
Another strategy is suggested at the end of the parable. It’s also a strategy of noncooperation with evil. I’ll have a dinner for people, but only so that they can pay me back with another dinner. So opt out! Don’t play. Invite people to a party who have no capacity whatsoever to invite you in return. "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."