Jesus’ Criteria

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Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time 


Luke 14:1, 7-14 

One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched. When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: “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. 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. 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. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” 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. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”


Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, let me know your heart, which is meek, humble, and generous;  knowing it, grant me the grace to love and imitate you. 


Encountering Christ:


  1. Being a Guest: Jesus offered what appears to be very sagacious human advice. It is as though he was suggesting a strategy for making sure we get places of honor. But underlying his words is an important instruction for us. Every time we attend Mass, we are guests at the wedding banquet. The Eucharist is the foretaste of the eternal wedding feast to come in Heaven. Do we come forward for Communion as though it is our right? Or do we approach with gratitude, reverence, and humility, aware that we are special guests invited to partake of this great gift, Our Lord, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity?
  2. Being a Host: Jesus addressed the host of his dinner party with a challenge to invite, not the rich, but those who could not repay him. His words are an invitation to us to consider how often we extend ourselves in hospitality or friendship to others. Does complacency keep us within a circle of friends who are comfortable? Or do we reach out to people on the margins of our life, in the parish, at work, at school? How may the Lord be inviting us to give of ourselves in unexpected ways?
  3. Repayment: To serve those who cannot repay us is what Ignatius of Loyola would call a spirit of indifference. Far from not caring, it places the heart in a position of vigilance, seeing everything as God’s gift to receive and share with others. It frees the heart of egotistic possessing and clamoring after what promotes our own well-being and self-satisfaction. Once again Jesus promised a reward to those who were good stewards and hosts. He said that payment would come at the resurrection of the righteous. The righteous person is one who has a vision of things as they are and has established an honest relationship with God, others, and all of creation. The righteous see everything at their service, while nothing belongs directly to them. For this reason, they are capable of being generous, because they are guided by the beneficent heart of the Lord. 


Conversing with Christ: Lord Jesus, you are the giver of all good things. Help me to see anew, with your eyes, so that I may establish a right relationship towards you, others, and all created things. Grant that I may have a heart like yours, humble and capable of living in the truth about who I am in relation to all things. 


Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will reflect on my attitudes about entering into relationships with you, others, and created things. 


For Further Reflection:



Jennifer Ristine is a consecrated woman of Regnum Christi dedicated to spiritual and faith formation through teaching, conferences, writing, and spiritual direction. While serving in Ancient Magdala she wrote Mary Magdalene: Insights from Ancient Magdala and Nine Days with Mary Magdalene.”

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