September 1st, 2013 – Twenty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year C

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The wedding banquet is a favourite image of Jesus to describe the kingdom of God. Humility is a key virtue that we need to be a part of it. In today’s Gospel, Jesus and his disciples have been invited to a Sabbath dinner. Observing how the invited guests were choosing places of honour, Jesus tells a parable to his disciples about conducting themselves at a wedding banquet. They are to humbly take the lowest place.

Pride subtly creates in us the desire to be looked upon as better than other people. Jesus wants his disciples, future apostles, to be servant-leaders who understand that to truly serve God’s people, they must be humble in heart and action. Living humbly puts us in respectful relationship with God and with others, and teaches us to be accepting and welcoming of the marginalized, poor and dispossessed in our society. Now we understand better Jesus’ instruction to his host, “When you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind,” because they, too, are our brothers and sisters in whom we will encounter Christ himself meeting us at the margins of life and society.

Today as we gather to celebrate the Eucharist, the banquet of the Lamb, let us humbly pray to be continually transformed as individuals, as family, as a community, into the person of Jesus, the intimate gift of God’s own self.