August 28, 2022: Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Luke 14:1, 7-14
On a sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees, and the people there were observing him carefully.
He told a parable to those who had been invited, noticing how they were choosing the places of honor at the table. “When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not recline at the table in the place of honor. A more distinguished guest than you may have been invited by him, and the host who invited both of you may approach you and say, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then you would proceed with embarrassment to take the lowest place.
“Rather, when you are invited, go and take the lowest place so that when the host comes to you he may say, ‘My friend, move up to a higher position.’
“Then you will enjoy the esteem of your companions at the table. For every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Then he said to the host who invited him, “When you hold a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives of 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.”
What are we learning from these readings today? The first reading, which tells us to conduct ourselves with humility, seems to set the stage for Jesus’ teaching. Jesus observes people with great insight throughout his life – he sees their need for recognition and honor. But receiving honor is not the way of Jesus; it is not the way of true servanthood. Take the lower place, invite those in need of recognition, those who probably will be unable to repay you, and be grateful for the blessings received. We learn from Jesus’ own meekness and humility. Honor and glory were the temptations that Satan used with Jesus during his sojourn in the desert. Those same tactics tempt us throughout our lives. Jesus encourages us to be different than the world and to take the yoke of to do humility upon our shoulders – a yoke he will always share with us.
Our motivations drive us in so many ways. It is good as we go through our days to consider what motivates us to do the things we do. Are our actions performed out of love and kindness, or out of a need to be in the spotlight? Why do we give or use our talents for good? Our motivations are often mixed. Ask the Spirit to reveal these motivations to us that we may live in the Spirit of Jesus and seek only the love of God.