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Sept 2, 2001 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Luke 14:1,7-14
Catholic Homilies
September 2nd, 2001

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22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Luke 14:1,7-14

Background:

Chapter 14 of Luke’s gospel includes several stories and saying of Jesus centering around a meal. Luke alone uses a meal setting to recounts Jesus’ teaching on humility and the importance of concern for the less fortunate. In today’s selection, Jesus notices the behavior of the Pharisees, who watched closely hoping to catch him off guard. Their attempts to be in the place of honor show their hypocrisy, offering Jesus an opportunity to critique the practice and praise the virtue of humility. Luke includes the story about who should be invited to a banquet as a teaching on concern for the poor, the blind and the lame. At the same time Jesus chastises those who would keep the blind and the lame from the temple. This is another form of hypocrisy. God invites the poor to the divine banquet. So, too, those who care for them may hope to receive a similar invitation.

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Once upon a time on a Sunday morning, not so very long ago, a family was rushing from their car to the church. They had been slightly delayed getting to church because a torrential rain had cause flooding of the local streets and slow driving on the main roads. The mom was to be a eucharistic minister and the dad was scheduled for the first reading. As they hurried down the block from the parking lot, they passed a homeless man selling a bi-weekly paper, the proceeds from which went to help the homeless. The parents looked the other way and urged their children to move quickly. When the daughter asked why they didn’t buy the paper, the Dad responded, "That’s just a rip off. If those people would just get jobs, we wouldn’t have to put up with them in front of our church. They don’t belong here so we shouldn’t encourage them." The dad, who prided himself on being an excellent reader, was quite pleased when people told him how well he presented the words from Sirach about the need for humility.

* by Dr. Mary Durkin

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