Before the recitation of the Marian Prayer, the Pope recalled Sunday’s Gospel in which Jesus takes part in a banquet in the house of a leader of the Pharisees, and observes how the guests run to get the top places.
The Pontiff commented that “this is a rather widespread attitude, even today, and not only when we are invited to a meal.” “We also seek the first place to affirm an alleged superiority over others”, he said.
In reality, Pope Francis explained, “this race to the first places hurts the community, both civil and ecclesial, because it ruins fraternity.”
Faced with that scene, said the Pope, “Jesus recounts two brief parables, through which he indicates two attitudes that are fundamental to our lives: humility and selfless generosity.”
The first parable, noted Pope Francis, “is addressed to the person who is invited to a banquet, and Jesus exhorts him not to take the higher place, "because, a person more distinguished may have been invited””. Instead, Jesus invites the person to take the lowest place, so that when the host comes, he will say, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Jesus, said the Pope, teaches us the way of humility, “because it is the most authentic one, which also allows us to have authentic relationships.”
In the second parable, the Pope recounted how Jesus, addressing the host of the banquet, tells him to invite “the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind.”
Jesus goes against the tide
Here too, explained the Pontiff, “Jesus goes completely against the tide, manifesting as always the logic of God the Father.” Jesus, observed Pope Francis, “invites us to selfless generosity, to open the way for a much greater joy: that of being partakers of God's own love.”