We gather around the table of the Lord on this Labor Day weekend to share a meal. Everyone is invited, regardless of race, gender, culture, background, class identity, income or any other unnecessary source of division. We join together to celebrate the Eucharistic banquet. As we listen to Jesus tell us a parable about invitations to a banquet while he himself is a guest at a dinner, let us consider our hospitality toward others.
It begins with humility. Humility increases our humanity. Turning our backs on the places of honor at a banquet to take a lesser seat means we are giving consideration to others. We acknowledge that other people have the same rights, have similar hopes of position. We develop empathy for others. Truly as our first reading says, “you will be loved more than a giver of gifts,” for we have given the gift of affirmation to our neighbor.
True humility makes us more hospitable. Taking the spotlight off ourselves directs that light on the value of others. Our empathy leads us to invite “the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, the neglected, the vulnerable, the marginalized, the outcast.” We tell them you are valued. You are important. You are treasured. Aware of it or not, we are doing God’s work when we do so. We realize our home is enhanced by the presence of those commonly rejected. Humility cuts against the grain of what society tells us every day. It admits that we are not capable of doing it all ourselves. Honestly acknowledging that we are not capable of doing all ourselves, honestly acknowledging that we are not the best, realizing that we do not deserve all the riches that have come to us. How fortunate we are to have a host who exalts us despite our unworthiness.
As we approach the Table of the Lord, we are invited to receive Jesus in the Eucharist, though we admit, “Lord, I am not worthy.” The question is, whom can I invite into my life, though they may be unworthy?
Love, Peace, Joy