In some sense, the readings this weekend are about heaven and how to get there. For those who believe, this is the goal. For those who do not, the only other two options are reincarnation or nothing at all. There’s an unsavory aspect to each of these two options. The resurrection and heaven require faith, but the prospects and the vision are far more appealing. In the Gospels, it often seems that any feast, banquet, dinner, wedding all point to and talk about heaven. So it is with the supper at the house of a Pharisee that begins here in Luke 14.

The saints will be honored at the first places in the reign of God, and this is because while on earth they were looked down upon and suffered. There are few kings in heaven, and without doubt less lawyers, and as Jesus notes elsewhere, even less the rich. Those of us who think much of ourselves ought to take great care lest we are humbled by some humble person esteemed by the Master rather than by our own self esteem.

God invites the poor, the lame, the broken to the great wedding feast. In our culture wedding invitations are crafted with an attention to who is important and deserving and who will bring in the better gifts. Recently there was a article in the news about the new trend of simply charging people a fee much like buying a ticket to an event in order to attend one’s wedding, and in the case of this story it was $250! I suppose that there are those who think that they can buy their way in. Or who self-justify by keeping every letter of the law, while missing the whole point of love.

The Gospel includes both reward and humility, after the two sayings of Jesus embedded in the Gospel.

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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