22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C, 01/09/2019

The readings this Sunday are a mixture of exhortations to be humble, gentle and to give practical love to the poor and the marginalized in our communities.

Warning against pride is given in the first reading and the need to be humble highlighted. The Psalm is a song of joy and praise to God who is attentive to the poor, the orphaned, widow and the lonely. This echoes as an exhortation to pay attention to the people at the margins of our society.

 The second reading underlines that Jesus is our mediator and that our home is in the heavenly Jerusalem. This fills us with awe at God’s power.

The Gospel has a meal setting, it talks about eating. We may take this as our mantra to reflect on this gospel reading: “…They were watching him” (Luke 14:1).

We may be intrigued to ask ourselves: was this a genuine invitation or was there a hidden motive of inviting Jesus into the meal?  Was this meal meant to initiate, promote and sustain human relationships within the society of Jesus? Why would they watch him?  Jesus having known this trick; he threw at the side a lesson on how to behave when invited to a party and who to invite.

What’s more! The table mirrors society in the sense that what we eat, where we eat, how we eat, when we eat and with whom we eat gives some sense of relationship of humility and the society’s order of status; honour or shame.  Sometimes we are not comfortable eating with people not suitable for our class and status because we are afraid to lose the honour.

Likewise, let us throw at the side of a Small Christian Community within a given parish. Food and drinks are served after the meeting. This sharing of a meal after the SCC Bible reflection, can in some way help us to penetrate the human relationships within the SCCs by looking at who eats with whom, where and how. The meal sharing in the context of SCC or a family can help us get an idea of members’ integration within themselves and the marks of humility or not.

Jesus gives a prophetic and alternative imagination referred to by the Catholic Church in the social teachings with the following words: “Children, women and men most vulnerable to extreme poverty and injustice are rich in the eyes of Jesus…we are called to be companions to them” (“Solidarity”, Option for the poor and Vulnerable).

Christian Action This Week:  You may visit the Caritas office in your Diocese and learn what you can volunteer to do with them for the people of God especially the poor. Give a donation for the poor as well.

Joy and Peace.