OMELIE / Omelie EN

01 set 2019
01/09/2019 – 22nd Sunday in O.T. Year C

01/09/2019 – 22nd Sunday in O.T. Year C

Reading 1 SIR 3,17-20.28-29 * Psalm 67 * Reading 2 Eb 12,18-19.22-24a * Gospel LK 14,1.7-14


Last Sunday Jesus was bringing to an end his teaching recommending to become richer in front of God. With us remains the question: how do we do this? Which ones are the “treasures” that have value “pleasing to God”? Maybe today we can catch the answer coming from the very mouth of Jesus. Our heart and our mind are prepared by the words from the Sirach. This is praising humility and modesty, behaviours that are improving the listening skills, increasing the tendency to meditate, source of wisdom; from wisdom then comes generosity towards the poor.

Let us now listen to Jesus, who accepts an invitation for lunch. The host is one of the chiefs of the Pharisees. We know that these very religious people are not really open to take the Lord seriously. They call him “master”, but they are looking for occasions to spy on Him and to find in His words an excuse to think and talk trash about Him, turning the people against Him. Jesus accepts the invitation anyway: you might never know, maybe someone will treasure his presence and His words. Today we want to be among these ones.

First of all Jesus looks at His companions. They enter and choose where to sit. At that time too among seats you could distinguish the first and the last! He can see those that are running to fill the first places without waiting for the instructions of the Master of the house. He feels compelled to deliver the first teaching.

At first sight his words could seem like a simple etiquette rule, but listening well to them we realize that He is thinking of the feast of the kingdom of God, the Kingdom that He is establishing. In this kingdom nobody does what they like, nobody tries to prevail or to make themselves hold into esteem simply because of the place they occupy. In the kingdom of God everybody is waiting for the King's Word, everybody is depending on Him joyfully and everybody is happy about the respect that He demonstrates to each one of them. In the kingdom of God too there are first places, but they are not gained by men, but given as gifts through the friendship of the one who is inviting, of Jesus!

Those who choose for themselves the first place and they put themselves before the others are going to be demoted: in the kingdom of God these are at the bottom, they do not have the humility that God likes, they do not have the love towards men that makes similar to the Father, they do not have that tendency to volunteer for the others' salvation that would make them part of the Son of God's love! Move up to a higher position instead those who, with meekness and humility, think the others are better than themselves: these have learnt from Him, who says: “learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart”!

Jesus in this way has helped who was invited with Him to be ready for the Kingdom, but He wants to help also the master of the house, chief of the Pharisees, so he will not foster the presumption of feeling completely off the hook. He as well needs to change something in his life. He has done well inviting others for lunch, but he needs to be careful about the people he invites, so his invitation does not end up being a gift coming from personal interest, therefore not out of love, but out of selfishness.

To the feast of the Kingdom are invited those that do not deserve it, even sinners. Who is invited to the feast of the Kingdom does not have anything to give in return. To be invited in the Kingdom of God is a gift, a grace. Who can take part in it can never say and not even think of being worthy of it, because they have been called out of a condition of poverty and suffering, or even out of a condition of sin. In the kingdom of God are admitted even the pagans, and these welcome the bread coming from heaven thankfully, differently from the Jews, who are convinced it is their right and would even like to exclude the others.

If the Kingdom of Heaven is like this, why the invitations to enjoy the earthly goods cannot be made in the same way? And here is Jesus, making the proposition to the one who has invited Him to continue organising feasts, but inviting the most needy people, those who nobody appreciates because they have no way to repay the invitation. Whoever lives already now like he was in the kingdom will receive from God the reward. God will reward who gives to the poor the signs of His love, in advance!

The second reading is telling us to fix our eyes on the heavenly Jerusalem, in order to let ourselves to be attracted by its beauty and by the joy that, in it, shines on the face of the chosen ones. The desire to reach it, will be in us the strength to cultivate both the humility of looking for the lowest place and the love for the poor, otherwise we would be left out of any joy of living. In this way we will become richer in front of God to the point that He Himself will consider us His friends and children, because we are doing His works.