Saturday, August 28, 2010

Brian’s Reflection: The Weekend, Saturday, August 28, 2010

When he noticed how the guests chose the places of honor, he told them a parable.
"When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the
place of honor ….. But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so
that when your host comes, he may say to you, `Friend, move up higher'; then you
will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. For all who exalt
themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."
He said also to the one who had invited him, "When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not
invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite
you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the
crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you,
for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."

The version of the Gospel called “Luke”, Chapter 14
[ for those unfamiliar with the Gospel, the full text can be found ]

This is, in my view, a parable about the House of the Soul. Your and my Soul, i.e., the Being that we are and are developing into.

We are the Inviter, the “Pharisee”. And as that Pharisee, we exhibit certain characteristics. We are proud; we are often seeking to prove our worth by inviting into the House of our Soul “worthy”, well-thought-of Characters (read Characteristics). We are jockeying those we invite, pandering to them according to the value we put on them. To some we say, “Take the higher place, and some we banish to the lowest. If our “honoured guests” had names at the banquet in the House of the Soul, they would be names like “Honour”, “Reputation”, “Learnedness”, “Position”, “Power”. Those with names like “Weakness”, “Pride”, “Cravenness”, “Fawning”, “Kiss-Ass”, etc we would assign the “lowest” place at the Table.

The advice Jesus has for each of us, when it comes to the nurturing of our Being, of our Person, is: Don’t enthrone those aspects of your personality which seduce you and mislead you on this momentous Path of Becoming. In the Parable, these are your “brothers, friends, relatives, rich neighbours”, etc. Pandering to these Characteristics just traps you in a place where nothing of improvement happens. It’s those Characteristics that the Parable calls “the poor, the lame, the blind” which offer growth. Each of us knows what these Characters are ………. and we know deep gown that pandering to them holds us back from Growth.

Jesus wants us to hold out to “God”, to that great Mystery of Life at the core of all things, those aspects of our Nature which need to be touched by Goodness and Truth and Grace and Beauty and Humility, Humility being essentially Reality. These aspects will be the things about ourselves we least like. But any good psychologist or priest will tell you that these are just the things that need to sit at the head of the table near to the One Who has the power to call us to Wholeness of Being.

The more we are able to hold out to Transformation those least appealing parts of our human nature, the faster we become Whole.

In other words: Embrace the “dark side”, and hold it fearlessly to the Light.


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