Christian Courage

Reading 1 Phil 2:1-4

Responsorial Psalm Ps 131:1bcde, 2, 3

Gospel Lk 14:12-14

In the Gospel last Friday, Jesus is at dinner in the house of a leading Pharisee. It’s the Sabbath. Jesus violates the Sabbath law by curing a man afflicted with dropsy. Then in Saturday’s Gospel
Jesus is still at the same meal. He calls the attention of the diners to the game they were playing, all of them maneuvering to be placed in seats of honor. In today’s Gospel Jesus advises his host to invite to his parties not the “right” people, but the outcasts of society!

Whenever Jesus acts, he acts because it’s the right thing to do, never simply because it’s the politically correct thing to do. One thing you can never accuse Jesus of is “political correctness.” In the earlier mentioned Gospel passages, the politically correct thing for him to have done was, not to have cured on the Sabbath, not to have ridiculed the Pharisees’ honor-seeking game, not to have urged the Pharisees to invite the outcasts of society to their parties. Jesus’ behavior was never determined by political correctness.

Political correctness can limit the degree to which we can become Christ-like. It can prevent us from reaching out as Jesus did to those people whose local or family or class culture insists are socially unacceptable. Pride is an insistent accomplice of political correctness and is a powerful motivating force urging us to never associate, for instance, with former prisoners, or only with those who are “cultured,” wealthy and powerful.

Jesus’ example provides us with a daunting challenge to make ourselves available to all men and women, no matter how badly society has treated them or how badly they have treated society or themselves.