Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus notices people jockeying for the highest place at a banquet. And do you see what he does? He notices how this game interrupts God’s intention for his people and so he endeavors to interrupt the interruption. What he is urging in his parable is that we have the courage not to play the game of honor at all.
When every instinct in your body says to take the higher place, you should in fact take the lowest place, the place where you are least likely to be noticed. What if you tried this on the sports field, at work, in your family, among your friends? It would be like breaking yourself of an addiction.
Then he pushes it even further. Sometimes we invite people to parties or we are kind to them so that we might be repaid. So, the Lord says, don’t invite people who can invite you back; don’t be kind to people who are likely to be kind to you. Love your enemies; invite the poor, the forgotten, the homeless.
The quest for honor is an addiction like any other. It interrupts what God wants for us. Pray for the grace to break it.