The meal…yet again.
The meal…yet again on the Sabbath.
The meal…yet again with a Pharisee or two seeking a source of conflict (and they watched him closely.) This meal, with the healing on the Sabbath of the man with dropsy omitted, introduces a section on Luke about the banquet and how invitations are sent and reactions to the offer to attend. A little homework for all to get the context!
Jesus accepts the invitation according to the customs of the time. Food and drink were important, but the talk, the philosophy, the banter and the dilemmas were the real business. It was not unknown to be invited to go up higher…so nothing new in that advice; just, as it were, a friendly reminder. Jesus changes the accepted protocol in the final sentence and there is the challenge for us. Who do we invite?
It is Migrants and Refugee Sunday in our Churches this weekend. Maybe the teaching can apply to the Australian nation. We seem not to be as inviting as on previous occasions. Sirach asks us to be “gentle in carrying out your business.” Do we need to have a rethink about how we use the word ‘illegal?’ Ought children be treated in the same way as adults? Are there other ways to tackle people smugglers?
Our Psalm recalls that our God is a “Father of the orphan, defender of the widow.” Maybe we are called to extend the hospitality of our tables to someone we have never met, or to use the meal to resolve conflict.
Hospitality does change attitudes and people.
- We all had a great weekend at Templestowe. One feature often remarked, was the friendship readily established, and the strength gained from coming together from different regions.