As Jesus dines at the home of a Pharisee, he advises us not to invite our friends or wealthy neighbors over for dinner because good manners means they will be required to invite us back in return. Instead Jesus encourages us to welcome into our hearts those who might be unthinkable as guests - "the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind" - the ultimate outcasts of society. They have no means to thank us.
Who in our own lives are the outcast or the overlooked? Whom do I ignore or dismiss in my own life?
Perhaps my issue is not with those who serve me, as much as those with whom I disagree - those whose values are different than mine. Can I welcome everyone into my life? Can I accept with humility the idea that I might be wrong or that another point of view might be valid? Can I be humble enough to set aside my own needs to care for the needs of others? What young person or future saint might be inspired by my humility and generosity?
Lord, my arrogance and independence gets in the way sometimes. Please, I beg of you, help me to pray for and embrace the humility that will open up deeper ways of communicating with you. Let me invite those people into my life that I might recoil from and let me love and respect them as you do. Help me to see you in each person I meet.
By M. McCann Waldron