Sir 3:17-18, 20, 28-29
Heb 12:18-19, 22-24
Lk 14:1, 7-14

Table Places
I have been thinking a lot about seating places the last couple of weeks. In the gospel reading from Sunday September 2nd, we are reminded by Jesus to take care when we take our seat at the table. We should not place ourselves at the head of the table, lest the host of the meal invite us to go sit at a less visible place.

For those of you who read the entry from last week, I already revealed that I sat by my mom. This meant for the most part that I didn’t need to be sitting near my dad for good behavior. I must admit I haven’t given too much thought to what it is like for those who designate our seating. I am sure for my parents with seven children, their thought had to do mostly behavior and particular needs with cutting etc. our food.

I remember as a child that we had two levels of eating places when our cousins came. There was the adult table with a few older kids, and the children’s table. Unfortunately for my older sisters and brother, they often were given the task of taking care of the kids and their eating needs (usually there were about ten of us).

The adult table always seemed so cool. Their conversations seemed more adult like, more exciting…I looked forward to the day when I would be of the age and ability to be at the big people’s table. This actually took quite a while as when I got older I became the designated younger adult to sit with the children. Now I have graduated to the adult table. Sometimes I look to the younger kids table and watch their ease with conversation and laughter, and wonder how I grew up so serious.

In the gospel of September 2nd we requested not only to sit at the “kid’s table,” we are also encouraged to invite to our table those who are not able to pay us back in any way. However, I think that Jesus must surely want us to open our eyes, ears, and hearts to experience what the “poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind” have to teach us. It is in this way, that we are able to live the message of Sirach,

My child, conduct your affairs with humility, and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts. Humble yourself the more, the greater you are, and you will find favor with God. What is too sublime for you, seek not, into things beyond your strength search not. The mind of a sage appreciates proverbs, and an attentive ear is the joy of the wise.