Daily Reflection – Aug 28, 2016
Sunday 28 August 2016
First Reading: Sirach 3:19-21, 30-31
God, in your goodness, you have made a home for the poor
Psalm 67(68):4-7, 10-11
Second Reading: Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24
Gospel Reading: Luke 14:1, 7-14
Today’s Note: Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
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.”
Our first reading from Sirach echoes traditional Jewish teachings concerning right conduct. Basically these verses say, “Remember who you are and who you are not.”
A wise person listens deeply with both the outer and inner ears. The wise person searches and allows mystery to be a friend rather than a humiliating enemy which must be defeated or ignored. As water can subdue flames, generosity to the poor extinguishes the fire of past sins.
These are instructive and practical. Keeping them remains a work in progress. Humility is gratitude which allows us to stay cool! Covering up or withdrawal is not being humble or shy, it is a prideful expression. That which makes a person truly attractive is an interior at-homeness, which is humility. Humility is truth in action, generosity in public, and joyfulness in being invited.
In the Gospel, Luke has Jesus responding to an invitation to dine at a leading Pharisee’s house and on the Sabbath. The other invitees are watching quite specifically to trap him violating their religious expectations – early forerunners of ‘Liturgical Police’. During the meal Jesus notices the pharisaical practices of these religious rigorists. They have been jockeying for places of honour (another prideful expression) and recognition. Jesus heightens their interest in him by relating a little parable intended to indicate their hypocrisy.
“Lord, help me to know who I am!”