22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

DINING IN THE GOSPEL OF ST. LUKE

By Fr. Ken Decker, CSB

Today and tomorrow many families will be gathering for the celebration of Labour Day weekend.  Food and drink are always at the centre of these family gatherings.   Try calling the family together without food and drink.  Few are interested.  Offer food and you have a full house.

The Gospel this Sunday has a meal for the setting.  The particular meal is a Sabbath Day meal.  Sabbath is a very, very important day for families and friends and is centered around a meal.  Jesus has been invited to the Sabbath Day meal at the home of a leader of the Pharisees.  Jesus does not like what is going on with the seating arrangements at the meal.  The guests are not simply sitting around a table waiting for the food and drinks to be served.  Some are complaining: “We should be placed in special seating because we are important.  Let those other people sit in the cheap seats.”  As he often does, Jesus uses a parable to instruct these people.

What we may not realize is this meal story and the other meal stories in Luke’s Gospel are teaching the early Christian community how to behave at the Eucharistic meal, the Christian weekly holiday celebration.

What is to be learned from today’s story? Everyone is welcome to the St. Basil’s Eucharistic meal.  No matter how rich or how poor, how well dressed or how casual, the elderly and the very young are equally welcome.  There are no first class seats for this meal.  Come to the banquet as equals and dine with us.  Leave well fed with the Word of God, the Body of Christ and the love and respect of the congregation.  Then spread the Good News to others.