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”.
In today’s world, every day individuals vie for fame, fortune, power and status. The people who have achieved any of these “gifts” typically are held in high esteem. However, Jesus completely reverses this idea. He proposes that it always is best to choose a lower place rather than a higher place. Thus, you will never be embarrassed by being asked to move to a lower place. And possibly you may be invited to move up to a higher place.
Status-seeking is rampant in our world. Many people seek fame, power and recognition. However, there also are many individuals who live their lives quietly and simply. They are content with God, family, friends and a simple lifestyle. Fame may look glamorous. However, almost every day in the newspaper or on television we hear stories of how the famous and the glamorous have fallen or been defamed, often by their own choices.
Today Jesus encourages us to be content with what seemingly is “lowly and least.” Often it is in the small and seemingly insignificant gifts of everyday life where we may experience the greatest love, joy, peace and contentment. Today be mindful and notice the many small gifts you receive. Thank the giver and thank God!