On a sabbath Jesus went to dine
at the home of one of the leading Pharisees.
He said to the host who invited him,
"When you hold a lunch or a dinner,
do not invite your friends or your brothers or sisters
or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors,
in case they may invite you back and you have repayment.
Rather, when you hold a banquet,
invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind;
blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you.
For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous." - Luke 14:12-14
This is tough isn't it? Jesus' words in today's Gospel is telling us to open our homes to the poor, crippled, lame, and blind. I think anyone worth their salt would gladly help anyone in need ... short of opening their home.
I have other issues with this Gospel. We've all seen the men or women on the entrance ramps or busy intersections with the sign and the forlorn face. Sometimes I see other drivers giving their change. I hesitate because at one intersection, I saw my neighbors' son.
His parents both work and they have a house. He has a brother and both young men have been in special needs schools all their lives. Mom could be seen over the years buying from the local drug dealer. Now one or both boys accompany their mother when she makes her purchase.
When I'm approached, I usually just smile and shake my head. I feel bad. "There but for the grace of God, go I," I think to myself. I say a prayer under my breath. "Lord what should I do?" I don't always get a clear answer. Sometimes, I grab the loose change and give the person that. But most times ...
It's tough not to get the picture of my neighbor's son, tucking his sign in his shirt, walking away from the intersection and then pulling out his cell phone as he walks home, out of my head.