“…when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
Thursday, 02 July 2020
I was struck a few days ago how Grade 11 students at Rondebosch Boys High unanimously decided to donate the money they had raised for their matric dance to help feed the poor. In a way, it made me think of this parable of Jesus in Luke’s Gospel.
Whilst at dinner with a Pharisee Jesus offers some instructions on how to celebrate and dine together. He said that one should invite those who cannot repay the favour. He is insisting that we share our generosity with those who cannot otherwise enjoy it.
Jesus then shares the story of the Great Banquet, wherein the invitations of a magnanimous host are repeatedly declined. It is an allegory for God’s call for each one of us to join him in the Kingdom. Very often we receive that call but decline to accept it, just like the guests in the story. Whilst one lesson is to learn how to say Yes to God, another point worth reflecting on today is why might we decline the invitation.
We’re told that the host will open wide his doors to deliberately call the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame – all who are outcast from society. Maybe it is our pride that stops us from seeing our need for God; or perhaps it is that we, too, are in someway cast out. Can we accept God’s call to us?
We know that we can never repay God for his kindness to us. We are totally undeserving. We are the ones who cannot repay God. We need to accept God’s generosity in our lives, and be generous with those who need generosity in theirs.
Is there some act of generosity that we can do, perhaps like the boys at Rondebosch, or like the host in the story?