Luke 14: 1, 7-14
One Sabbath, Jesus was having dinner in the home of an important Pharisee, and everyone was carefully watching Jesus. All of a sudden a man with swollen legs stood up in front of him. Jesus turned and asked the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law of Moses, “Is it right to heal on the Sabbath?” But they did not say a word.
Jesus took hold of the man. Then he healed him and sent him away. Afterwards, Jesus asked the people, “If your son or ox falls into a well, wouldn’t you pull him out right away, even on the Sabbath?” There was nothing they could say.
Jesus saw how the guests had tried to take the best seats. So he told them:
“When you are invited to a wedding feast, don’t sit in the best place. Someone more important may have been invited. Then the one who invited you will come and say, “Give your place to this other guest!” You will be embarrassed and will have to sit in the worst place.
When you are invited to be a guest, go and sit in the worst place. Then the one who invited you may come and say, “My friend, take a better seat!” You will then be honoured in front of all the other guests. If you put yourself above others, you will be put down. But if you humble yourself, you will be honoured.
Then Jesus said to the man who had invited him:
“When you give a dinner or a banquet, don’t invite your friends and family and relatives and rich neighbours. If you do, they will invite you in return, and you will be paid back. When you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. They cannot pay you back. But God will bless you and reward you when his people rise from death”.
Imagine that Jesus is sitting at the back – in the cheap seats – and shouting at us to come and join him. But would you be prepared to give up your seat?
Jesus loves us all, but he shows a fondness for honest people, or rather people who are honestly themselves; the poor, the unclean, the lame – the ones who have
given up wearing the masks of society.
Even the rich can be honest, although it may be more difficult; but Jesus makes friends across the width, depth and breadth of society. He will sit with the greatest and the least; providing food and family. The celebration of the Eucharist tells us this is true. All are welcome and there is room for all.