Twenty Second Sunday, Year C, September 01 2013
A leading Pharisee – a person of standing in the community, in society generally – hosts a meal, inviting family and friends and among the guests is Jesus.
So here’s the scene; a host, guests and God all rubbing shoulders!
And the guests are more interested in their personal standing, in themselves, than they are in God and Gods Kingdom. There’s nothing new there – even to this day!
Their religion is about themselves rather than God and neighbour. Or perhaps their religion has had little impact on them. Their religion hasn’t converted self – which usually means self has converted, indeed, corrupted religion! Which is what we’ve got today; no, yes?
They’re full of self rather than God and neighbour.
And if something, indeed, somebody is full then you can’t get anything more in. She or he will have to be emptied before God can enter.
Really Jesus is asking; are you so poor inwardly that you must compete outwardly for position at a table, for recognition, for honour, for contentment, for meaning?
It’s the classic Jesus question: Do we find ultimate meaning in the material or the spiritual? It’s an important question – especially in a time when the material has failed and so many have lost meaning.
And given their self centredness it’s not likely they had the humility to hear Jesus call to a much deeper love, a more radical service, to forget self and put God and neighbour first.
Without that humility it’s most likely they felt insulted by Jesus.
In the end it comes down to who is dominating us, deep within?
Is it self or is it God?
Inside; who is in charge?
You’ll be much happier when God rules inside!