Where To Sit?

IMG_7974Where do you sit at a meal when you’re a prominent guest or think you might be?
Jesus offers his angle in this week’s Gospel.
We still have a practice similar to the scene Jesus described — the “head table” at award dinners, company banquets, weddings, or other social occasions. The person or persons at the center of the head table are “the most honored” at any given banquet. If you’re “somebody,” you would expect and seek to be as close to the seats of highest honor as possible.
In this week’s scripture, Jesus turns all of this on its head.
Whoever you are or think you may be, seek the very lowest seat, Jesus says, and let others raise you where they want you to be.
Why? In the kingdom of God, honor is a gift granted by another rather than a right earned by oneself.
This is also valuable when we’re sent on mission. We are to presume no privilege in the house or community of another. What we have to offer is what is asked of us. What we receive is what is given to us.
The kind of guest list we make matters, too. Jesus calls us to invite people to our banquets that no one would ever think to invite — the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind.
Jesus is calling us to authentic relationship with God by caring for those who cannot care for themselves. The surprise- total self-giving to the lowly and needy means reward in heaven–eternal glory with God.
We need not look too far to put Jesus’ teaching this week into practice!