Message from the chaplain: 13 November 2020
[Jesus] 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 neighbours, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. 14 And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” 15 One of the dinner guests, on hearing this, said to him, “Blessed is anyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!”
- Luke 14:12-15 (NRSV)
This passage reminds me of the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), in which the answer to the lawyer’s question, “Who is my neighbour?”, is not the person who lives next door, or the person with whom I am comfortable or whom I know whom I expect to assist me, but the one who shows mercy. In fact, in that parable, the one who does show mercy is the one Jesus’ audience would least expect or even want to do so. Similarly, in the quoted passage, Christ encourages his host (and us) to invite those who perhaps one would not usually consider inviting: the marginalized, and those who cannot reciprocate.
Perhaps we could consider each life’s moment spent with one another to be part of heaven’s banquet – heaven-on-earth – for which Christ is the host, and for whom the guest list is unlimited, and VIP guests are those on the margins. Christ’s invitation to the banquet that is each moment is one to be cherished and honoured, as is each fellow guest.
Revd Claudia Coustas