This gospel illustrates how Jesus, as an astute teacher, used the situations in which he found himself to challenge people. In this case his teaching is about the right attitude to have as a guest, and as a host. It is not surprising that the Old Testament reading chosen to reflect the gospel is from the Book of Ecclesiasticus, one of the so-called Wisdom books. These books do not hesitate to give direct advice about the way to behave properly. The reading from Ecclesiasticus today is about humility.
Jesus takes up the traditions of the Jewish teachers of wisdom. So what is new about his teaching here? He brings with him the traditional teaching and confirms it, but he also lives it, not simply by his own everyday behaviour, but by going to the lowest place in accepting his martyrdom on the cross. These apparently mundane teachings, which are set during his journey to Jerusalem to face death, remind us of his willingness to be the servant of all and to give up his life. As he makes his way to Jerusalem the servant Jesus teaches us how to be truly servants, and the humble Jesus teaches us how to be truly humble. For the Christian there is nothing too mundane, no activity which cannot benefit from the light of faith. For the Christian there is no person who does not deserve the gift of our hospitality, the gift of our love.
Do I endeavour to shed the light of faith on all my actions and decisions?
Do I strive for true humility in my attitudes and behaviour?
Let us pray for a heart that is welcoming towards those who are rejected and ill-treated.
Let us pray that despite our weakness we may one day take our place at the wedding feast of God.