The conduct of guests and hosts
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Valeriano Avila (The Freeman) - September 1, 2019 - 12:00am

It is the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time and today’s gospel teaches us about the conduct of invited guests and hosts, which you can find in your Bible in Luke 14:1, 7-14. Come to think of it, issues like the conduct of guests or the host in a social gathering, if you read between the lines, gives us an idea about human behavior and, more importantly, tells us that we should all act in humility when we talk with one another. So let’s read what St. Luke wrote about what Jesus is teaching us today.

“14 One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched 7 When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: 8 “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9 If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place.

“10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. 11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

* * *

What our Lord Jesus Christ is teaching us about human behavior is quite simply to behave properly when you are invited for instance to a wedding reception. I mean, surely you will not sit in the table reserved for sponsors and special guests because surely these tables have the names of the invited guests or sponsors in order to identify where exactly we should be sitting. So if you are hardheaded and insists on sitting at someone’s table, then you are inviting the family involved in the wedding to ask you to move, which no doubt would be an embarrassment and humiliation for you.

Of course, usually well-educated people who know proper behavior during special engagements do not do things that would end up embarrassing their persons. Actually, this statement is a lesson on humility because people who are humble in nature would never seek a place of honor as they would rather sit in a place where people cannot even see them.

If there is a famous quotation given by our Lord Jesus Christ it is when he said, “For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Perhaps it is time that we asked ourselves why did our Lord Jesus talk about the issue on the conduct or people during a luncheon or dinner? Let me copy what the start of today’s gospel said, “One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched 7 When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable.”

If you’ve been reading the stories in the Bible, you will notice that our Lord loves to join lunches or dinners and even weddings. Remember the wedding in Cana where he made his first miracle? But in today’s gospel he attended either a luncheon or dinner in the house of a prominent Pharisee, which meant that there were many special or important people in this gathering.

So I guess this is why our Lord Jesus Christ started preaching to those inside the house of the Pharisee the things that we have read today, which is still happening to us at this time 2,000 years after our Lord returned to his Father in heaven.

BIBLE
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