When we look at one another, especially at those who disappoint us, or disagree with us, or even humiliate us, can we not try to glimpse buried beneath their failures and sins and apparent “unworthiness” the seeds of a desire for God, the attempts to love (however botched), or the hunger for holiness (perhaps muddied and misdirected, but still there)? As we take our place at the “table” of life, can we not be a little more amazed at people’s goodness and try to glimpse the secret beauty and depths of their hearts, depths that only God truly knows? If we do, it’s not so hard to give up our “place” to another.
The guest list Jesus proposes for the banquet in the kingdom of God is unthinkable for those who are concerned about their own status or personal benefit. We all have a “guest list” of who we invite into our lives. How inclusive is it? Who is missing from it? Who is left out? Who else can we welcome? These are good questions to prepare us for entering once again into the blessedness of the inclusive table companionship to which every Eucharist so graciously invites us. Jesus came to offer us a place at his banquet table beyond all our deserving and expectation!
Photograph of Brother Adam in the Abbey vegetable garden taken by Brother Brian. Reflection by Father Dominic.