“…do not recline at table in the place of honor.”
The virtue of humility is a thread that runs through today’s Scriptures. Jesus weaves this thread through the parable that He tells after noticing that His fellow dinner guests were choosing the places of honor at the table (Luke 14:7). They were not content to receive a sumptuous meal. They wanted also to receive honor.
These dinner guests were looking only to receive gifts. They were not thinking of giving. This is natural, on the one hand, since when you accept a dinner invitation, you’re accepting a gift. On the other hand, when you go to a dinner party, you might take a token gift such as a bottle of wine. But your token gift would seem out of place if it were greater than the banquet itself.
But here is the metanoia—the change of heart and mind—which Jesus effects in His disciples through His saving words and deeds. He wants His disciples—including us—to recognize every gift, every invitation to receive, as an opportunity to give.