The wedding banquet is one of Jesus’ favorite images for describing the kingdom of God. Humility is a key virtue for being part of that kingdom. In Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus and his disciples have been invited to a Sabbath dinner. Observing how the invited guests were choosing places of honor, Jesus tells a parable to his disciples about conducting themselves at a wedding banquet. They are to humbly take the lowest place.
Pride subtly creates in us the desire to be looked upon as better than other people. Jesus wants his disciples, future apostles, to be servant-leaders who understand that to truly serve God’s people they must be humble in heart and action. Living humbly puts us in respectful relationship with God and with others. It teaches us to be accepting and welcoming of the marginalized, poor, and dispossessed in our society.
Now we understand better Jesus’ instruction to his host, “When you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,” because they, too, are our brothers and sisters in whom we will encounter Christ himself meeting us at the margins of life and society.
As we gather to celebrate Eucharist, the banquet of the Lamb, let us humbly pray to be continually transformed as individuals, as family, as a community, into the person of Jesus, the intimate gift of God’s own self.
— Fr. Michael Traher, SFM
Sirach 3:17-18, 20, 28-29
Psalm 68:4-5, 6-7, 10-11
Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24A
Luke 14:1, 7-14