From the Word of the Day
Then he said to the host who invited him, “When you hold a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors, in case they may invite you back and you have repayment. Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (Luke 14: 12-14)
After speaking to the guests, Jesus now addresses the owner of the house telling him not to invite friends or rich neighbors to dine, but the poor. These words should be read in continuity with the Discourse on the Plain (Luke 6: 17) and are words that are new and unheard of in His times. They can even be called revolutionary and are in contradiction with all the customs habitually used by society. They tend to abolish all marginalization in each of us and even in the society of our time which has an innate commercial spirit according to which we are ready to give if we get something in return. It always remains an interested love and a conception of life as a market. I invite you today and you invite me tomorrow, thus remaining in a closed area among people who are peers and exchange favors among themselves. There is no thought for the poor, the excluded, and the marginalized. They are always the refuse.
Jesus’ Gospel instead, seeks to remove this egoistical way of regarding life and intends to install a new fraternity based on two characteristics: gratuity and universality. Marginalization is always the fruit of injustice because before God, no person is marginalized and everyone is neighbor to everyone else. We must give to those who cannot make any return. Gratuity and universality are the surest indication that we are on the right road that brings us close to God. On many occasions, Pope Francis speaks of the throw-away culture and its injustice.
The voice of Pope Francis
Unfortunately, in our epoch, so rich in many conquests and hopes, powers and forces are not lacking that end up producing a throw away culture and this tends to become a common mentality. The victims of such a culture are precisely the weakest and most fragile human beings who risk being thrown out, expelled from a mechanism that must be efficient at any cost. This false model of humanity and society activates a practical atheism, negating in essence the Word of God that says: “Let us make humans in our image, according to our likeness” (Cf. Genesis 1: 26). Only if we let ourselves be questioned by this Word can anything change”. (Pope Francis, December 7, 2013)