A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 14:12-14
On a sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees. He said to the host who invited him, "When you hold a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or sisters or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors, in case they may invite you back and you have repayment. Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."
Reflection: "Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."
Would you invite a priest to dinner? It is an opportunity to get to know your priests not just as your church leaders but as normal people who have their struggles like everyone else. It gives people an opportunity to connect with the priest and the priest with us. Plus I hear some of the priests are good cooks, so maybe they can cook up some of their favorite meals. Maybe they can invite us to dinner as well.
When we break bread and commune in a meal we become family members and it is in this setting, that the priest can be befriended and as a family member maybe critiqued and supported in love. We can become the family of God working together with each other. And once you know someone it is easier to defend them as you personally know their good character and intentions.
Jesus seems to always be dining out. Whether He was invited because they were curious about Him, or a favor was needed, or just a status thing to say to all that you dined with the "miracle worker". But why did Jesus dine with the Pharisees? Some Pharisees liked Jesus but we don't know what happened that made Jesus say, "Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you."
Perhaps it was in this setting of familiarity that Jesus could speak honestly about whom to invite to our homes and whom to be generous. He promises us that we will be blessed when we extend a compassionate heart to those who could never repay us and at times could never thank us.
During these holidays that we share with our families invite those outside your family to join you. Invite the poor and the aged, who most likely will spend the holidays by themselves, to be with your family. Sit down with the elderly grandparents and speak to them while all the young ones are having fun. Or visit those in nursing homes or halfway houses that have no family to visit them and enjoy a dinner with them.
In the Breaking Bread Ministry through the Catholic Charismatic Church in Houston, Texas the homeless are invited to a warehouse that is decorated and dinner is served on fine linen, rented china, silverware, and glassware for Thanksgiving dinner. If you cannot invite to your home, then invite them to dinner.
For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous." Trust God, for He has promised this.