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“When You Give A Party…”

  • International
  • November 5, 2012
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Luke is a writer who organizes his material carefully, and in this chapter from his Gospel, he groups a number of Jesus’s random sayings around the setting of a meal or a banquet.

Thus there is the story of a miraculous cure which takes place at a banquet; observations made on the vanity of the guests; and the parable which likens the ‘reign of God’ to a wedding feast.

Today’s Gospel concerns the admonitions Jesus gives his disciples on how to choose whom to invite for a festive occasion. Usually we invite our relatives, our rich friends and our influential neighbours whenever we want to celebrate. It’s but natural, we say. But Jesus has another criterion altogether.

The more like God we wish to be, the more our choices should be like those of our Heavenly Father. He chooses precisely those who ‘unworthy’ – the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind. Such as these cannot replay the host who invites them, so we too will not be repaid here, but in the hereafter. God makes no distinctions and gives lavishly, for all are his “children”, specially to those who don’t expect it. So too, we are most god-like when we give generously without expecting any return.

Not for the first time, Jesus’s words stand the conventional wisdom on its head.
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