The other day a group of Catholic School Teachers, I among them, were sitting around a table drinking coffee and tea and talking about what it means to make the message of the Gospel known these days. The leader of the group read the quote that appears above and asked if any of the members of the group had ever practiced Jesus' outspoken directive. There were actually two or three.
Their stories are interestingly similar. Listen...
They had experienced similar invitations in their own extended family, if not in their immediate family. They had been at such meals where the neighborhood loner would be invited at Thanksgiving and Christmas. They had a grandmother who was a lousy cook but who fed all the neighborhood children anyway, with or without invitation.
The responders said that these meals were taken at a common table, in their own home, or that of their grandfather's, etc.
Could you imagine yourself inviting the Pastor of your parish over for dinner and hearing him say, "I notice that you haven't invited any maimed people. Don't you know a widow who could use a little company and a nice meal with us?" Or worse yet, "Would you mind if I invite old Mrs. Shakalot? Three doors from you. I could bring her along."
Some suggestions? How about Easter Sunday? Memorial Day; July 4; Labor Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas and new Year's day, not to mention your birthday, or the widow's!