In verse 1, we read that Jesus is dining at the home of a Pharisee and that the religious leaders were watching him closely. My guess is that their purpose in watching him closely was not so that they could imitate his ways. Instead, they were hoping to catch him up. Rather than being offended, Jesus uses this as a teaching moment. He speaks of humility and of hospitality. He calls us to extend welcome and grace to the ones who need it the most, rather than the ones who have something to offer back.
This is reminiscent of Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 25, where he says, “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink…” We welcome Jesus in the way we welcome the ‘least of these’. In The Rule of St. Benedict, we read, “Let all guests who arrive be received like Christ, for he is going to say, ‘I came as a guest, and you received me.’ And to all let due honor be shown…In reception of the poor and of pilgrims the greatest care and solicitude should be shown, because it is especially in them that Christ is received.” Take a measure of how well you receive Christ in the way you welcome the poor and the pilgrims. Consider who might be longing for your welcome.
Today, pray for those who feel outcast, lonely, or lost.