Monday, August 23, 2010

Gospel Text for Sunday, August 29th

Luke 14:1, 7-14

On one occasion when Jesus was going to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat a meal on the sabbath, they were watching him closely.

When he noticed how the guests chose the places of honor, he told them a parable. "When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honor, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host; and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, `Give this person your place,' and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, `Friend, move up higher'; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."

He said also to the one who had invited him, "When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."

Questions for engaging the text:

- What do I observe" What am I seeing" Does this passage raise questions for me?
- Is anything attracting me, drawing my attention, or repulsing me?
-What response is emerging within me? What is my response to what is attracting me?***
-In what ways might I specifically act on my insights in the world
I really want to hear from you. Thank you for clicking on "Comments" below and adding your responses.
Grace and Peace, Debra

*** 1st three questions taken from The Art of Engaging Holy Scripture curriculum (see resources)


  1. "you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you." Oh, the upside down gospel of Jesus! When you are NOT repaid for your work or kindness, that is when you are blessed. We tend to think that when our actions bring immediate results we are being blessed. But no, this is just repayment and gains for us no increase. Spirit of Jesus, live in me this day so full that I willingly, eagerly give without possibility of being repaid.

  2. Humble your self. Do not expect to be repaid. Jesus’ instructions are counter-cultural, irrational and very hard to follow. So I ‘googled’ humble your self. There were 13,000,000 hits. And then I ‘googled’ love your self. There were 519,000,000 results. When you figure the total number of hits was 532,000,000 are you surprised that only 2.5% of them point toward humble your self? Perhaps not. Isn’t humility generally seen as weakness, self abasement, even being a door mat?

    Why then would Jesus instruct the disciples and us to be humble, to expect neither recognition nor adulation, to invite marginalized strangers to our dinner parties? Because Jesus is telling a parable and the banquet about which he is speaking is the kingdom of God. The ways of the kingdom of God are pretty much opposite the ways of the kingdom of earth.

    When I think about being in the kingdom of God I feel like taking the seat furthest from the head of the table because it’s hard to believe that I, even I, am invited to God’s wedding feast. In the presence of God I am the sinful woman, the Pharisee, the alien, the unfair judge. I am the lowest of the low, still I am invited and welcomed to God’s banquet. Truly, there is no place for pride in God’s kingdom

    Lord, thank you for inviting me, even me, to Your banquet. Please give me the grace of humility.