22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time
Call to worship
Sincere humility helps us know our true worth and the deep value and dignity of all others. Humility opens our hearts to the poor, those crippled by society and those who are outcast by judgment. We sit together with them at the banquet of the Lord.
- To the point: In this Gospel Jesus challenges guests and host at a dinner. Jesus calls the guests to let go of seeking places of honor and to choose seats that lead to being called “to a higher position.” Jesus calls the host to invite as his guests those who have only themselves to give in return, for which the host will be repaid at the “resurrection of the righteous.”
- Connecting the Gospel (Luke 14: 1, 7-14) to the first reading: Humility is in part, knowing one’s strengths and weaknesses (First Reading) and one’s place (Gospel). But it is more. Humility is the virtue by which we acknowledge our status before God: we are “the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind” who come to God’s table because of God’s invitation and generosity.
- Connecting the Gospel to experience: Jesus in this Gospel is not negating meals with family and friends! He is teaching us that our generosity must extend beyond our immediate circle to include everyone—especially those in need.
Today’s scripture highlights an irony of inverted expectations. Sirach says that love is in giving rather than receiving, greatness in humility, and wisdom comes to the listener, not the speaker.
The Psalm reveals God as the dwelling of the homeless, the liberty of prisoners, a refreshing rain for dry hearts. Hebrews says that while we think God is unapproachable as a high mountain, all-consuming as a raging furnace, impenetrable as a dark abyss – God really is a loving parent whose dwelling place is the festive, healing and life-giving Zion.
Knowing that parties of his time were for the rich, Jesus proclaimed it better to invite the unwanted poor and discarded to our parties, and to be happy when they could not repay since repayment comes in heaven. Mary proclaimed, “God routs the proud, dethrones the prince and exalts the lowly.”
Her lowly soul magnified God; our own diminishment reveals God’s greatness.
(Luke 14: 1, 7-14)
Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind.
Jesus, at times, we hobble. We are frozen.
We see through a fog. We forget.
But please, let us come to your banquet.
Hold us up, teach us the way to walk.
Tell us how to love one another.
and how to help others.
Give us a taste of your feast,
every time we meet you,
in Mass, communion,
and every time we love.
The First Reading
(Sirach 3: 17-18, 20, 28-29)
My child, conduct your affairs with humility.
Humilis, “lowly.” Literally, “on the ground.”
From the Latin humus, “earth.”
We emerge from the earth.
And back to it we go.
With nothing when we come
and nothing to carry with us as we leave.
Nothing but love.
When we have nothing but your love,
we have it all, everything.
Lord, give us that one thing
that is necessary.
The Second Reading
(Hebrews 12: 18-19, 22-24a)
You have approached Mount Zion and the city
of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.
The mountain: distant and cold.
Jesus came to us and made a door.
Warmth rushed out, and it welcomed
each and every one of us.
Thanks, Lord, for loving us: you,
the go-between of the new
and everlasting covenant of love.
Copyright © 2022, Anne M. Osdieck
Music for reflection