Welcoming Outcasts


    Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid.  But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed.  Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous” (Luke 14: 12-14.)


     In the ancient Jewish culture, when a person was invited to a meal, they were often expected to return the favor the next time they hosted a dinner party.  Not everyone owned a home, and not everyone could afford to feed many guests; therefore only those who were wealthy and affluent would routinely be invited to attend large feasts.  The poor, the lame, the sick, and the blind were routinely overlooked.  Yet Jesus commanded His disciples to invite those who could not reimburse them for their generosity and affection; thus forgoing earthly rewards in favor of eternal riches. Those who have given expecting nothing in return will be rewarded for their selfless actions on the day when the dead are raised to eternal life.

   As a child, every year around a certain holiday, my mother would invite a disabled family that lived in our neighborhood to enter our home and join us in celebration.  They were very poor and everyone in their family had some form of debilitating disorder. They were often mocked and teased by many in our small community; shamefully, I myself, being so young, was slightly embarrassed when they arrived.  Yet as I look back now, I understand the goodness of my mother’s actions.  She was reaching out to those who were outcasts; showing love to those who had been shunned by others. She had chosen to embrace a family who could not repay her for her kindness. And in so doing, she had fulfilled the teachings of Jesus Christ.

     As Christians, our mandate is to love without condition or stipulation. We must show affection for those who are outcasts. We must care for the poor, the lame, the sick and the blind. We must be generous toward those who cannot repay us; and in so doing, we too will fulfill the teachings our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.  When we finally enter God’s eternal Kingdom, we will receive the full reward for our acts of selfless love.

     “Lord Heavenly Father, may we love those who are less fortunate.  May we reach out to those who are outcasts; may we embrace the lost and care for those who are suffering.  May we abandon the pursuit of Earthly rewards in favor of heavenly riches.  Fill us with Your Spirit that we might be more like You; thus allowing others to see our good works and glorify Your Holy Name.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you!

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