Sunday, September 1, 2019

He who humbles..

Today's Gospel asks us to look at others rather than ourselves. We all know that is kind of a tough thing to do in a world of the 'selfies.' Or when the glamorized version of ourselves only bears a slight resemblance to our real-world appearance.

Jesus directs our attention at the host in our second parable.  And, if we connect the two parables, Jesus seems to be defining who the more “distinguished” guests are who should have prominent places at the table. “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors,” says Jesus. To do so was expected as part of a social transaction — you invite them and they have to invite you.

It’s the same kind of social contract we expect to execute in the selfie world — you click “like” on someone else’s fake portrait or news about themselves and you expect them to like your altered life as well. But Jesus urges the host, as he urges us, to instead elevate those who cannot reciprocate and to engage with those to whom our self-images don’t matter. It’s in relationship to the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind that our real self-image comes into focus. We learn that while we may not be in dire economic or physical circumstances, we too are poor, crippled, lame and blinded by self-interest and self-indulgence.