Today’s Gospel story appears in at least three different versions—
Gospel of Luke and the Gospel of Matthew
and in the non-canonical Gospel of
Just like he did with last week’s story,
Matthew takes Jesus’
and turns it into a Christianized allegory
for the way
God deals with people,
an allegory that addresses
the specific concerns of
Matthew’s own community.
The scholars of the Jesus Seminar comment
Matthew’s editing of this story
puts it out of touch with what Jesus said and
In short, Matthew
makes the dinner party into a wedding feast
and the host into a king,
extends the allegory to teach lessons about the people
who were leaving the
early Christian community.
Matthew’s “kingdom of heaven” is ruled by a
who not only kills the murderers but burns their
Then the king ferrets out a guest who isn’t dressed properly,
kicks him out.
not see God in that way.
He says God’s right here—
“the reign of God is
among us,” as the original Aramaic reads.
So this story as Jesus tells it has
two characteristics pieces:
• Exaggeration in the last-minute refusal
every one of the invited guests.
• Reversal of social convention
gathering of people off the streets to fill the banquet hall.
upsets the applecart for his listeners.
It tells the religious
that they are choosing to stay away from God’s banquet
God will fill their places
with people who are eager to be at the
Who is at this
The banquet image in the Old Testament
stands as a sign of God’s
and Isaiah makes it clear that all are welcome
writes that God will prepare
this banquet of rich food and fine wines
There’s always enough food on the banquet table in God’s
As Paul says, God is lavish in providing for everyone.
Down at Claver
House the volunteers
serve up a banquet of donated food every weekday
cereal, fruit, toast and jelly, doughnuts,
coffee and milk and
juice; fruits and vegetables,
soup and casseroles and salads and
There’s a place at the table and plenty of food
for anyone who
walks in the door.
Last Tuesday a new guest walked into Claver
let’s call him Jerry.
Youngish (well, younger than me), not too
shabbily dressed, clean.
New in town, he said, just in from Florida
hoping for snow so he could work like last winter,
when he went door to door
and shoveled snow.
And then Ms. Agnes came in,
coughing and fighting for
staying just long enough
to get a container of soup to take home
so she could get back on the oxygen.
Then Ronald, looking tired
and a bit scroungy,
with a battered piece of luggage on wheels
carried everything he owns.
All are welcome!
Tent City is setting up
downtown at the end of this month,
a veritable jamboree of services and
winter coats and meals.
just a few weeks away, our national holiday.
The food pantries around
are taking down the names of families
so they can deliver all the
fixings for Thanksgiving dinner.
Everyone’s invited to the table.
people without family in town,
or without a kitchen to cook in,
of Christ the King Church
are putting together, as they do every year,
giant Thanksgiving banquet—
In terms of
Toledo is the second most compassionate city in the
only Seattle ranked higher in this year’s Compassion Games.
There’s no record of his ever kicking anybody off the mountain.
told people that the kin-dom of God is at hand.
He tells us the same
We, right here, right now—
whenever we are welcoming,
we invite everyone to the table—
are helping to make it happen.
to God, it’s good to be here!
Holy Spirit Catholic Community
3535 Executive Parkway (Unity of Toledo)
Saturdays at 4:30 p.m.
Rev. Dr. Bev Bingle,