22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 29, 2010
“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.”
Gospel faith concerns reordering the world
according to God’s purpose.
Jesus is under surveillance by the power people
to see if he will conform to their regime.
He uses a social occasion to show that
what the world honors is not what is valued
in the new order of God—an order engaged
on behalf of the poor, crippled, lame, and blind,
those whom the world devalues (Luke 14:13).
Jesus' advice to us
when making up our guest lists and
deciding how to share the blessings we've received are:
Don't be strategic.
Don't go for reciprocity.
Be extravagantly, forgetfully generous.
Invite the most unlikely, most unexpected of guests
into your home and share that most necessary,
most enjoyable experience of eating together.
"You will be blessed," Jesus says, repaid at the resurrection,
for sure, but we sense that he's referring
to more immediate blessings as well.
Lord, teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to ask for reward,
save that of knowing that I do your will.
St. Ignatius of Loyola