Fr Paul Gooley reads from the Gospel of Luke (14: 1, 7-11) in which Jesus, dining at the house of a prominent Pharisee, advises via the parable of a wedding feast, that when you are a guest do not take the place of honour for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited.Fr Paul says the Gospel we hear today, and the one we will hear on Monday morning, both have a parable each. Both parables are about invitations to a feast or a meal. Both these parables are only found in Luke. Because Luke was a physician/doctor, he moved in a higher strata of society than Mark and Matthew, and so he in writing his Gospel he often has in mind the implications of the Gospel for these higher strata of society. Luke is aware that shame is an emotion which those who are well-off can afford; the destitute and the poor simply cannot afford it! Today’s parable, like several of Luke’s parables, seems to be developed from a little Old Testament proverb: ‘Do not give yourself airs, do not take a place among the great; better to be invited, ‘Come up here,’ than to be humiliated’ (Proverbs 25: 6-7). For Luke then a banquet is always an image of the heavenly banquet of the Lord. And the message of this parable is: don’t think yourself better than you are. The message is also typical of Luke’s open and straightforward, businesslike approach. Mindful of this message, Fr Paul invites us to reflect on ‘How can I live out the message of this Gospel in my life today?
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