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The 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

posted 4 Sep 2019, 03:24 by Our Lady of Fatima Church - White City London   [ updated 4 Sep 2019, 03:25 ]

Table talk…

This year most of our Sunday Gospels are taken from the Gospel of Luke. If someone was to make a stage play of Luke’s Gospel and they hadn’t got much of a budget for the set, they could probably get away with just having a large table in the middle of the stage! This is simply because time and time again Luke presents us with a picture of Jesus at a meal or telling stories which involve meals. 

For example, Jesus shows that sinners like the tax collectors Matthew & Zaccheus have been forgiven/reconciled with God by inviting himself to their houses for a meal; some of his most powerful parables such as the Prodigal Son conclude with a special meal; after his death and resurrection the Risen Christ is finally recognised by the two disciples at Emmaus when they sit down together for supper and Jesus breaks the bread. Jesus often uses meals as opportunities to teach – a more intimate and personal environment than teaching great crowds. Jesus obviously really enjoys sharing food and company with others. At the Last Supper he shows us how to be the perfect host, treating his guests – the disciples – with loving service, respect and deep trust, giving of himself unconditionally. 

But in today’s Gospel we witness a time when Jesus was invited to a meal at the house of a leading Pharisee and was made to feel very unwelcome. Notice how frosty the atmosphere is around the table – they have invited Jesus in order to test and trap him, but Jesus turns the tables and exposes their meanness and arrogance. I think one reason why sharing a meal is so important for Jesus is that it looks forward to the heavenly banquet when all sorts of people, regardless of their social rank or importance, will be joyfully united in glorifying God. So the meal is used by Jesus/Luke as an image of how our relationships here on earth should be – generous, loving, non-judgemental, merciful & God-centred. A question to reflect on - if you were to invite Jesus for a meal to your home what kind of host would you be?

With warmest wishes & prayers from Fr Richard, Fr Ephrem & the parish team