By Fr. Andrew Kelly
TWENTY FIRST SUNDAY ORDINAL TIME – SEPT. 1, 2013
Luke continues his radical teaching with Sunday’s Gospel (Luke 14:1, 4-7). The Gospel could easily be interpreted as how to be nice, polite and maybe even on occasion a bit generous when sharing a meal.
However, Luke is teaching about the shared Sabbath meal which believers call Eucharist. The meal is God’s gift to the guests and celebrates what God is doing for the guests, not what the guests are doing for God.
Jesus says: “But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, your host may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’”
Humble self-effacement is essential for any guest at the Lord’s Table. The true guest knows instinctually that the meal is God’s gift. There is no room for self-assertiveness and self-aggrandizement.
Nor is there room for selfishness. The selfish want only their own around the Lord’s Table. But the selfless know instinctually to “invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind.”
When the believing community remembers that Jesus Christ is the host of Sunday Eucharist, an atmosphere and spirit of total, humble radical self-effacement and selflessness begins to permeate and dominate the Sunday worship space.
(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)
Scripture Readings for Sept. 1-8
Sir 3:17-18, 20, 28-29
Heb 12:18-19, 22-24a
Lk 14:1, 7-14
1 Thes 4:13-18
1 Thes 5:1-6, 9-11
Phmn 9-10, 12-17