Read Luke 18:9-14 with your family.
The Gospel of Luke doesn’t like Pharisees very much. The writer thought them too full of themselves and too focused on the rules. Jesus, on the other hand, showed people that rules were not very important. The important thing was how we live.
Today’s reading from Luke shows Jesus telling a story about two men, a Pharisee who believed he was doing everything that God wanted and as a result thought he was better than anyone else, and a tax collector who knew he wasn’t showing God’s love and honesty to the world and as a result thought he was worse than anyone else.
Jesus knew both men were loved by God and that was enough, but the men didn’t realize that. Jesus didn’t tell his disciples one was better than the other, just that when we think too much of ourselves, we are not the people God wants us to be. However, when we come to God showing we are ready to serve God knowing we do things we shouldn’t and have to improve ourselves, that attitude will be recognized by God.
Read Luke 14:1, 7-14 with your family.
Jesus had dinner with all sorts of people, and in today’s story he was having dinner with a pharisee, that means someone who spent their time studying the Hebrew Scriptures, and often taught other people what God expected of them.
Jesus taught two lessons. The first was basic social behaviour when you are a guest: Make sure you take a further seat from the head of the table and if the host wants you to sit somewhere else, let the host make that decision. You don’t want to be embarrassed by the host coming to you and telling you to move to a seat further away from the head of the table because he wants to give the closer seat to someone else.
The second lesson was the lesson about God: When you are the host, invite people who are usually forgotten by most people. Invite the poor, the sick, the disabled, the people who can’t host a dinner party in return. They are the ones God wants us to pay special attention too. This is how God treats us. At God’s banquet everyone is invited and none of us have the ability to show God the same level of gift giving that God shows us.