Pretty soon we will be knee-deep in parables.
Here’s a homily from the 2007 archive to enhance our summer-wedding-season experience:
When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honor, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host; and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, “Give this person your place,” and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place.
But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, “Friend, move up higher;” then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous. (Luke 14:7-14)
According to St. Luke, this is a parable. Of course we know that a parable is an image or set of images from everyday life which Christ used to help us to grasp the invisible reality of the Kingdom of God. The Lord’s parables may not be easy to understand, but we can usually recognize one when we hear it.
Why, then, do these words of Christ sound a lot more like good advice than a parable?