Notice how Luke stages the supper. Just as the Pharisees carefully watch Jesus, he too is watching them. They are vying for the places to recline at this banquet at the best and most advantageous places in relation to the host. We live in a very similar culture; we like to think of ourselves as important and finagle our way to what we think are the best seats. Except when seats are assigned then we get a subtle message about our real place in the eyes of the host. If your name card is at table 13 of 13 tables, you know it is going to be in the far corner of the room, out of the limelight, and you will be served last.

Vss 11 and 14 sayings go together it would seem, with the last saying expanded to introduce the banquet in heaven of the resurrection. Luke uses these “reversal” sayings frequently in this Gospel; they are uncomfortable for us even today. In Hellenistic culture of his day, humility was not considered a virtue, but a deficiency, a kind of lack of interior strength or a lowly status in economy or society or family. It is the same today in our own culture of narcissism, privilege, and entitlement, and especially of white supremacy and racism of every kind. There’s no humility here at all. Yet, humility is the mother of all the virtues.

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

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