New York, St. Margaret, 2nd September 2007
Let me say two words.
The first about banquet.
Jesus very often took opportunity to say something important, something deeper, something more spiritual. He was invited to dinner but he didn’t want only to dine. He uses this opportunity to speak about invitation.
Did he want to offence the host?
Not. He didn’t.
Did he want to say that if we hold a lunch or a dinner and we invite our friends or our relatives it doesn’t make sense?
Not. He didn’t.
Jesus doesn’t forbid to invite friends. Jesus uses the word “rather”. “Rather, if you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind”.
By the way, I’m 34 years old and I’ve never hold banquet or dinner only for the poor. It’s a shame. When I read today’s gospel I mind there are still a lot of things that I should do in my life to be a disciple of Christ. I mind that the longest way in life is from the understanding of the Gospel until to put it into practise.
Now let we say one word about value.
It’s interesting to see in the Gospel how often Jesus focus his attention on the poor. We read in today’s gospel that Jesus told a parable noticing how the people were choosing the places of honor at the table. Jesus saw it and understood that we - the people - we like the places of honor, we like saying “I’m better”. Jesus knew and knows that there is no equality on the earth.
The French revolution with slogans "freedom, equality, brotherhood" it is only an ideal and not the reality. The so-called democracy even in our country is maybe good, but not the best. The is no equality before the justice or before the law. If you don’t have money or if you have no connections is pretty hard to do something.
Do you believe that the president of USA has the same value as a beggar?
Do you believe that the pope is not more precious than a terrorist?
Do you believe that one disabled has the same beauty as the most beautiful actress from Hollywood?
Even we say "Everybody is equal", we feel that it is not true.
Even on cemetery. There are bigger and smaller gravestones and headstones.
Jesus saw that the people like to make themselves greater so he reminds: don’t forget about the poor. They are the same people as you. They are created in God’s image like you.
This is humility: to understand that everybody is equal before God, because for everybody Jesus shed the same quantity of his precious blood.