Inviting guests

Posted by James Hahn on

Monday November 6th

Luke 14:12-14

Finally a scriptural passage that excuses me from inviting my relatives to dinner. This is such a great relief since the last time my brother-in-law was visiting he drank most of my homebrew. Now I can simply tell my wife that there is no need to invite anyone. After all, we don't want them to invite us back!

In today's Gospel Jesus addresses the common practice of inviting to dinner or a banquet those who were well-to-do in order that they might return the favor. He is also addressing those who throw lavish parties and gatherings in order to win some fleeting human laurels for their generosity.

Jesus suggests that instead of inviting those who may pay us back or inviting to impress that we should seek to take care of those who could never repay us. Lest we get the wrong idea, Jesus is not encouraging us to lord our wealth and generosity over those who are less fortunate. No, He is prompting us to be generous without expecting any sort of repayment, monetary or otherwise, in this life. Once again we are reminded of the list of those who will enter into the Kingdom - "When did we thee hungry and feed thee or thirsty or give thee drink..." (cf Matthew 25:31-46)

FROM THE SAINTS - "Elizabeth was a lifelong friend of the poor and gave herself entirely to relieving the hungry. She ordered that one of her castle should be converted into a hospital in which she gathered many of the weak and feeble. She generously gave alms to all who were in need, not only in that place but in all the territories of her husband's empire. She spent all her own revenue from her husband's four principalities, and finally she sold her luxurious possessions and rich clothes for the sake of the poor. " - from a letter by Conrad of Marburg, spiritual director of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary

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