Luke 14:1, 7-14
1 Now it happened that on a Sabbath day he had gone to share a meal in the house of one of the leading Pharisees; and they watched him closely.
7 He then told the guests a parable, because he had noticed how they picked the places of honour. He said this,
8 ‘When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take your seat in the place of honour. A more distinguished person than you may have been invited,
9 and the person who invited you both may come and say, “Give up your place to this man.” And then, to your embarrassment, you will have to go and take the lowest place.
10 No; when you are a guest, make your way to the lowest place and sit there, so that, when your host comes, he may say, “My friend, move up higher.” Then, everyone with you at the table will see you honoured.
11 For everyone who raises himself up will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be raised up.’
12 Then he said to his host, ‘When you give a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relations or rich neighbours, in case they invite you back and so repay you.
13 No; when you have a party, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind;
14 then you will be blessed, for they have no means to repay you and so you will be repaid when the upright rise again.’
Luke 14:1, 7-14 Reflections
In the gospel Jesus questions the self-centredness and hypocrisy. We are living in a world that values competition and success, occupying the ‘place of honour’, above all else. There is little space for the weak and for those who are unable to push themselves forward. A self image that considers oneself deserving of special recognition can be self destructive. When we happily use our God-given talents in serving others, we acknowledge that God is the true source of all goodness. The kind of humility Jesus is talking about here was described well by a former Archbishop of Canterbury, William Temple: “Humility does not mean thinking less of yourself than of other people, nor does it mean having a low opinion of your own gifts. It means freedom from thinking about yourself at all.”