Readings: September 1, 2013, 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
- Sirach 3:17-18, 20, 28-29 (Good News Translation)
My child, be humble in everything you do, and people will appreciate it more than gifts. The greater you become, the more humble you should be; then the Lord will be pleased with you.
Don’t try to understand things that are too hard for you, or investigate matters that are beyond your power to know.
Intelligent people will learn from proverbs and parables. They listen well because they want to learn.
Water quenches a flaming fire, and alms atone for sins. (© Good News Bible)
- Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24a (The Message Bible)
An Unshakable Kingdom
Brothers and sisters: Unlike your ancestors, you didnt come to Mount Sinaiall that volcanic blaze and earthshaking rumbleto hear God speak. The earsplitting words and soul-shaking message terrified them and they begged him to stop.
No, thats not your experience at all. Youve come to Mount Zion, the city where the living God resides. The invisible Jerusalem is populated by throngs of festive angels and
Christian citizens. It is the city where God is Judge, with judgments that make us just. Youve come
to Jesus, who presents us with a new covenant, a fresh charter from God. He is the Mediator of this covenant. (© 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson)
- Luke 14:1, 7-14 (the Message Bible)
One time when Jesus went for a Sabbath meal with one of the top leaders of the Pharisees, all the guests had their eyes on him, watching his every move.
Invite the Misfits
He went on to tell a story to the guests around the table. Noticing how each had tried to elbow into the place of honor, he said, When someone invites you to dinner, dont take the place of honor. Somebody more important than you might have been invited by the host. Then hell come and call out in front of everybody, Youre in the wrong place. The place of honor belongs to this man. Red-faced, youll have to make your way to the very last table, the only place left.
When youre invited to dinner, go and sit at the last place. Then when the host comes he may very well say, Friend, come up to the front. That will give the dinner guests something to talk about! What Im saying is, If you walk around with your nose in the air, youre going to end up flat on your face. But if youre content to be simply yourself, you will become more than yourself.
Then he turned to the host. The next time you put on a dinner, dont just invite your friends and family and rich neighbors, the kind of people who will return the favor. Invite some people who never get invited out, the misfits from the wrong side of the tracks. Youll beand experiencea blessing. They wont be able to return the favor, but the favor will be returnedoh, how it will be returned!at the resurrection of Gods people. ( © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson)