Something which might help us get to the heart of this Sunday’s Gospel (Luke 14, 1, 7-14) is this: going back to the table where we grew up and where we learned to pray. Do we have any memories of that table at home with brothers and sisters, Mom, Dad, and anyone else who pulled up a chair? Was anyone who was hungry ever turned away? And how much have things changed today? Are such meals even happening now, with fast-food eaten in the car on the way to or from some meeting or game? Do any people today actually sit together and talk – without the TV, or texting, or video games for children to keep them occupied?
There is an encouraging story told about a woman who, while her sons were away during a war, always insisted that any soldier who was at the nearby military installation (and alone on a Sunday or holiday) would be invited to her home. It made no difference where they were from or what color their skin. Around that table, some were one-time guests and some were repeat guests. The custom was willingly adopted by succeeding generations of her family because it was in that home that the woman’s family learned to pass the bread so that everyone had a piece. When someone came unexpectedly, they knew to take a little less so that there would be enough to go around. It was never a matter of whether or not the guests deserved a share. The rule established by the woman was simple: everyone who came was treated with utmost respect and got a portion of what was provided.
Let’s pay close attention to the Scriptures at Mass this weekend and the Eucharistic Prayer. In them, we will hear that there always seems to be enough for people who take Jesus at His word! The Gospel appears to be about pride and humility, but it is also about eating. It is about being a guest – and also how to be a host. It is not about rights and privileges, it is about gratitude. It is about how to have the right attitude about the abundance in which we find ourselves, how we share it, and how we feel about being at the abundant table which the Lord provides. All of this is what Jesus revealed at that dinner in the house of a leading Pharisee – and it is what He reveals to us again today.
Parish Announcements: Our St. Vincent de Paul Conference is opening the Food Pantry again this Sunday at 1pm. We are hoping that the last Sunday of the month will continue to be popular for all those who need food or know a friend or neighbor who needs food. Please drop by! ⁕ Sacramental Preparation and Religious Education sign-up is now available. ⁕ Check the Parish Bulletin for School events and all the other “news” which is published there.