St Hilda's Anglican Catholic Church Service Times

You are invited to join us for Anglican Catholic Holy Communion / Mass on:
Every Sunday 2017. Maitland NSW Australia. Venue: St Marys School Chapel in Victoria St. Mass at 11am.
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Fr Matthew Kirby for further details.
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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

An Invitation To Dine with Jesus

Sermon Summary for Trinity XVII 2014
(Gospel from Luke 14) as presented by Father Matthew Kirby

And it came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched him. And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy. And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day? And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go; And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day? And they could not answer him again to these things. And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them. When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the chief seat; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest seat. But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest seat; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

"Sit not down in the chief seat" 

This is not new teaching, even in it's wording.
Compare it to: "Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men: For better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen." Proverbs 25:6-7.

Yet Jesus does not refer
to the passage in the Old Testament here, unlike He has in other situations. It seems strange, especially when the point seems, at first glance, to be that you should pretend to be less, expecting to be treated as more. Is Jesus suggesting we practice false humility? What are we missing by interpreting it this way?

It's a wedding feast in the parable!
Unlike the feast he was at, unlike the context of Proverbs. Symbol of God's Kingdom in other parables. Christ is the true host. The chief seats may stand for those in authority (compare 24 elders in Revelation) or those of greater sanctity (the humble exalted are the virtuous exalted).
 
Thus, for the church, this means that men don't choose a vocation to Orders, they are called and chosen. Since none of them are actually worthy to be clergy, they must all first see themselves as faithful laity, accepting the gracious invitation to the wedding feast, the Eucharist. (Note that in the traditional Mass the priest says three times "Lord, I am not worthy ..." by himself before the people do it. Very appropriate that he should be singled out like this first, as a reminder!) And then, if it is God's will they are invited to take up pastoral duties. The Church has learnt: beware the man desperate to be a priest or bishop.

Regarding the other application of this parable, we should not see our progressive sanctification as the search to be special.
 
We seek God for His own sake, and let God be the judge of how far we have come.
 
 
A reminder that Anglican Catholic Mass / Holy Communion will be held in Taree
on Sunday 26th October 2014. Please contact Fr Matthew to confirm time and venue .

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