Diner invitations (Lk 14:12-14:12)

“Jesus said

To the one

Who had invited him.

‘When you give

A luncheon

Or a dinner,

Do not invite

Your friends!

Do not invite

Your brothers!

Do not invite

Your relatives!

Do not invite

Rich neighbors!

Otherwise,

They may invite you

In return.

You would then

Be repaid.’”

 

Ἔλεγεν δὲ καὶ τῷ κεκληκότι αὐτόν Ὅταν ποιῇς ἄριστον ἢ δεῖπνον, μὴ φώνει τοὺς φίλους σου μηδὲ τοὺς ἀδελφούς σου μηδὲ τοὺς συγγενεῖς σου μηδὲ γείτονας πλουσίους, μή ποτε καὶ αὐτοὶ ἀντικαλέσωσίν σε καὶ γένηται ἀνταπόδομά σοι.

 

Finally, Luke uniquely had Jesus turn to his Pharisee host.  Jesus spoke to the one who had invited him (Ἔλεγεν δὲ καὶ τῷ κεκληκότι αὐτόν).  He told him that when he would give a luncheon or dinner (Ὅταν ποιῇς ἄριστον ἢ δεῖπνον), he should not invite (μὴ φώνει) his friends (τοὺς φίλους σου), his brothers (μηδὲ τοὺς ἀδελφούς σου), his relatives (μηδὲ τοὺς συγγενεῖς σου), nor rich neighbors (μηδὲ γείτονας πλουσίους).  Otherwise, they might invite him back in return (μή ποτε καὶ αὐτοὶ ἀντικαλέσωσίν σε), in order to repay him (καὶ γένηται ἀνταπόδομά σοι).  In other words, do not invite your friends or relatives because they would probably invite you back again as a repayment.  That actually is the normal course of things.  Dinner parties usually circulate so that there is no undue burden on any one person.  But Jesus, via Luke, did not like that way of doing things.  Who do you invite to your parties?

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Almsgiving (Sir 29:8-29:13)

“Be patient with someone

In humble circumstances.

Do not keep him waiting

For your alms.

Help the poor man

For the commandment’s sake.

In their need,

Do not send them away

Empty-handed.

Lose your silver

For the sake of a brother.

Lose your silver

For the sake of a friend.

Do not let your silver rust

Under a stone.

Do not let your silver be lost.

Lay up your treasure

According to the commandments

Of the Most High.

It will profit you

More than gold.

Store up almsgiving

In your treasury.

It will rescue you

From every disaster.

Better than a stout shield,

Better than a sturdy spear,

It will fight for you

Against the enemy.”

You should be patient with people in humble poor circumstances. You should not make them wait for your almsgiving gift. You are only following the commandments when you give to the poor. You should not send the needy away empty-handed. You should give your silver to a brother or a friend. Do not let your silver rust or get lost under a stone. Circulate money. Your treasure should be in the commandments of the Most High God that are more profitable than gold. Your treasury should be filled with almsgiving, so that it can rescue you from any disaster that might come your way. Almsgiving is better than a strong shield or spear in the fight against your enemy.