Cooking and sharing with the Poor


In Luke 14 Jesus tells us when you cook a really good meal or banquet then invite the poor, the disabled and the blind and you will actually be blessed.  Dont just invite your friends and family.  

Those listening to Jesus knew that to share a meal or be invited to a meal was to become a friend. Because of the cleansing rituals, it was almost entering into a covenant with another. a special relationship between those at the dining table. 

So Jesus, by suggesting that the meal be shared with those who are struggling and living on the margins,  is asking us to pull down a wall and open up our hearts and our homes to those who have been disadvantaged through poverty or because of a disability.  It is an invitation for friendship with the other as Jean Vanier insists in his excellent little book, Encountering the Other. This is the very heart of the gospel - it moves us from simple generosity and giving towards a more powerful way of entering into relationship with the other.  It dissolves the gap between the giver and the recipient and says 'Come join me at my table'.