Commentary on the Gospel of

Fr Ekina Raymond Marie Parfait cmf

           Today we are celebrating 22nd Sunday of ordinary time.  We can divide the gospel (Luke14: 1, 7-14) into two parts.

The first part invites us to meditate on humility. Humility appears at the centre of the teachings of Jesus Christ in this fragment of text. Indeed, Jesus responds to an invitation from the leading Pharisees. There, he observes the attitude of the people about their places. According the words of Jesus in this gospel, they are very confused. Every person is trying to occupy the places of honour without the agreement of the master of ceremonies. Behind all this, Jesus think that it’s good to be attentive when you had been invited "when someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take your seat in the place of honour”. For Jesus, the better thing is to await the call to take your place from the man who invited you. So, then you shall have power and honor. If a wedding feast is the manifestation of the love, this parable is interesting for us, because every day as Christians we celebrate the Eucharistic which is considered to be as a wedding feast.

In this context, the second reading from the letter to the Hebrews12:18-19:22-24 explains how Jesus is the mediator who brings a new covenant. In this covenant we have the privilege of participation and responsibility at a wedding feast; but it is the preparation to the bigger wedding which will be at the end our life. God’s wedding feast doesn’t ask for participation as our social life does.  But Jesus does ask us one thing: humility. Humility is one characteristic of God. Saint Paul in his letter of Philippians2:6-11 says that: "Though he was in the form of God, Jesus did not count equality with God as a thing to be grasped […] “therefore God has highly exalted him. And bestowed on him the name which is above every name". Every humble person receives the grace of God. As we are listening to the first reading (Ecc3:19-21,30-31) and the responsorial psalm (Ps670:4-7.10-11) of today, being humble signifies that you recognize your poverty as a man. Don’t seek to exalt yourself. It’s the teaching of the canticle of holy Mary mother of Jesus, too " he fills the starving with good things sends the rich away empty".

In the second part of this Gospel, Jesus gives one teaching which is contrary to our society’s thinking. Generally, our world likes the exchange of gifts. The man is conditioned to give in order to receive in return, a full love calculation. But Jesus thinks that: " when you have a party, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; that they cannot pay you back means that you are fortunate, because repayment will be made to you when the virtuous rise again."  It’s the truth, because these poor reflect the image of God. In the Gospel of Saint Matthew 25:40 Jesus says: "Whenever you did this for one of the least important of the members of my family, you did it for me". During this Mass, let us ask God for the grace of humility and the courage to serve him without interest.


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