October 31, 2016
Lk 14: 12-14
He said also to the one who had invited him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States ofAmerica. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Focus on the Peripheries
One of my favorite Pope Francis stories is when he celebrated his 77th birthday in 2013 by inviting three homeless men (and their dog) to share breakfast with him. This took place the week after Time magazine named Pope Francis as their person of the year. I imagine that there were plenty of well-connected, powerful, and famous people who would have been happy to join Pope Francis for a meal on his birthday. But Francis chose to turn the values of our society upside down by inviting those whom our society deems as the least important to a place of honor at his table. Isn’t this the same thing that Jesus is inviting us to do in today’s gospel?
Pope Francis has asked the Society of Jesus to “focus on the peripheries.” Who are the people living on the peripheries in our homes, schools, workplaces, local and global communities? How can we invite them to a place of honor at our tables?
“Seeking the face of God in everything, everyone, all the time, and his hand in every happening; this is what it means to be contemplative in the heart of the world. Seeing and adoring the presence of Jesus, especially in the lowly appearance of bread, and in the distressing disguise of the poor.”
—St. Teresa of Calcutta
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