Daily Gospel Reflection – Memorial of Saint Charles Borromeo, Bishop
Bishop Robert Barron
November 4, 2023
Memorial of Saint Charles Borromeo, Bishop
Gospel: Lk 14:1, 7-11
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 everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted."
*United States Conference of Catholic
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus notices people jockeying for the highest place at a banquet. And do you see what he does? He notices how this game interrupts God’s intention for his people and so he endeavors to interrupt the interruption. What he is urging in his parable is that we have the courage not to play the game of honor at all.
When every instinct in your body says to take the higher place, you should in fact take the lowest place, the place where you are least likely to be noticed. What if you tried this on the sports field, at work, in your family, among your friends? It would be like breaking yourself of an addiction.
Then he pushes it even further. Sometimes we invite people to parties or we are kind to them so that we might be repaid. So, the Lord says, don’t invite people who can invite you back; don’t be kind to people who are likely to be kind to you. Love your enemies; invite the poor, the forgotten, the homeless.
The quest for honor is an addiction like any other. It interrupts what God wants for us. Pray for the grace to break it.