30th Week in Ord. Time, Saturday – 31st October 2020 — Gospel: Lk 14,1.7-11
Tips for Avoiding Shame
Jesus’ advice to choose a low place in the wedding banquet sounds pretty shrewd as it gives the hope of being directed to a more favorable position by the host publicly. But Jesus is interested in the arrangement of the banquet rather than the actual food. So, he tells the parable about receiving honour that emphasizes two components of banquet setting. First, selection of the seat; and second, invitation list. In an honour and shame culture, avoiding shame is of utmost importance for the participants. This is not simply embarrassment. Public shame may have tangible implications for the shamed. Sometimes, if the shame is significant, a family’s exchanging practices can be negatively carried forward by a public shaming. On the opposite end, public honour, which is determined by the host, may come to those who express humility. Jesus’ statement in 14,11 confirms this offer. Jesus’ words also help us to understand the requirement for entering into God’s kingdom. He shows that those who take the lowest place are those who know their unworthiness and look to God’s grace to move up higher. For Jesus earthly life is only a microcosm of what life meant to be. Regarding our table manners, we may be thinking short term, while God views our position within the arc of the divine long-term perspective and according to God’s true table purposes.