November 5, 2018

Gospel LK 14:12-14
On a sabbath Jesus went to dine
at the home of one of the leading Pharisees.
He said to the host who invited him,
“When you hold a lunch or a dinner,
do not invite your friends or your brothers or sisters
or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors,
in case they may invite you back and you have repayment.
Rather, when you hold a banquet,
invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind;
blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you.
For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
I do not believe Jesus is telling us to be exclusive in our concern for the poor.
Like us, He had both rich and poor friends; in today’s gospel he dined with “one of the leading Pharisees.”
Jesus’ message is one of treating people well, regardless of their social status.
He tells us to “invite (include) the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind” in our circle of friends; to treat them as well as we treat our “relatives or wealthy neighbors…”
At My Brother’s Keeper, all are welcome.
Members of our community, both rich and poor, serve side by side,
preparing and delivering food, furniture and Christmas gifts to families
who reach out to us for help.
Our goal has always been to build a Christian community that is best defined in the words of the beautiful Christian spiritual: “All Are Welcome.”
“Let us build a house
where love can dwell
And all can safely live,
A place where
saints and children tell
How hearts learn to forgive.
Built of hopes and dreams and visions,
Rock of faith and vault of grace;
Here the love of Christ shall end divisions;
All are welcome, all are welcome,
All are welcome in this place.”
As individuals and as a ministry, God calls us to tend to the needs of all of our sisters and brothers.
Those who are materially poor have needs beyond a bed or a box of food. Their hearts yearn for the affirmation of God’s love that comes with the presentation of the crucifix and the words, “This is the man who sent you the furniture.”
Those who are materially rich may be spiritually hungry. They too need our encouragement and assurance of God’s love of them.
“For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
In truth, we don’t have to wait for the resurrection.
For when we make others aware of God’s love for them through our actions, we are filled with the genuine joy that comes from being close to God.
“The rich and the poor have a common bond, The LORD is the maker of them all.” Proverbs 22:2