Sirach 3:17-18, 20, 28-29; Psalm 68:4-5, 6-7, 10-11 (R/. cf. 11b); Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24a; Matthew 11:29ab; Luke 14:1, 7-14
Jesus certainly had chutzpah. Here, at a dinner party, we find him offering advice to his fellow guests and to his host. Keep in mind that he has just healed a man with dropsy (edema) on the Sabbath, and his host, a leading Pharisee, would not approve of any activity, even healing, on the Sabbath. So the atmosphere was a little tense. Perhaps that is why Jesus decided to take a risk, calling the shocked guests to humility and the disapproving host to generosity.
Jesus is initiating some “Kingdom etiquette,” teaching how things will be in the kingdom of God, but also encouraging those who want to have the Kingdom present even now. In the Kingdom, the last are first, the least are honored and feted, and generosity replaces entitlement and self-serving action. The God who reigns in the kingdom appreciates humility, so if you want to be great, be humble before God and others. And know this: God’s dinner parties will be held in the heavenly Jerusalem, with angels decked out in finest garb, and invited guests will be hosted by Jesus. What a great party it will be!
How can you help the Kingdom’s banquet to begin now?