Homily by Deacon Jay
Have you ever noticed that a lot of Jesus’ teachings take place at a meal. Today for instance Jesus challenges us to move out of our comfort zone. On a Sabbath, Jesus was invited by an influential Pharisee to come and to dine with him at his home.
Jesus accepted his invitation. As they enjoyed the meal together, Jesus naturally talked with the host. In the course of the conversation, Jesus told his host that the next time he had a banquet, he should invite those people who were in need: the blind, those who were lame, and the destitute. Jesus promised this host that if he did invite the least, in return he would be blessed. I wonder how the man responded. The Gospel does not say.
Pope St. John Paul II gave us a phrase to describe good behavior. He spoke of the etiquette of the Gospel–but by the word “etiquette” he did not mean the arcane and complicated rules of society. No, he meant a way of life that is marked by kindness, gentleness and generosity. St. Paul calls this differing to one another out of love, a Gospel hospitality that welcomes those in need.
Today Jesus challenges us all to move out of our comfort zone, to welcome the least among us. No matter where we live, we have the poor among us. The poor may be someone who has a seemingly good life, yet they truly may be poor in all the ways that matter.
Are we willing to step out of our comfort zone and invite those who are poor to join us. Am we willing to open our door and our hearts to them. To truly live our lives for Christ we must live our lives for those in need.
We all have heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. There is another day you might want to consider observing I’m calling it Giving Tuesday. The idea is pretty straightforward. On the Tuesday after Thanksgiving take a break from all your gift-buying and instead donate to a charity of your choice in the name of someone you know.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “the purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”