The Glass is More than Half Full (Twenty-second Ordinary)

Jesus went on to tell a story to the guests around the table. Noticing how each had tried to elbow into a place of honour, he said, “When someone invites you to dinner, don’t take the place of honour. Somebody more important than you might have been invited by the host. Then he’ll come and call out in front of everybody, ‘You’re in the wrong place. The place of honour belongs to this person’. Red-faced, you’ll have to make your way to the very last table, the only place left. (Luke 14: 7 – 9)

A friend of mine was secretly hurt when the provisions of his mother’s will were announced. He’d always assumed that his mother would bequeath her wedding ring to his daughter. She was the only granddaughter and his only sibling had no children. Instead, his mother left the ring to her god-daughter, a young woman who was not married. Though he had great affection for the woman who now owned the ring, he began to feel angry and resentful toward her. He hated how it kept eating at him and finally he went to talk to his parish priest.

“What hurts the most?” asked the priest, gently.

“It’s that I wonder if my mum loved me or loved my daughter. I know that’s crazy, but that’s what I begin to feel,” he responded.

“So why don’t you make a new will listing all the gifts your mother did bestow upon you and your daughter in her lifetime? What would you start with?”

“She always made us laugh,” he said, a huge smile dawning on his face, erasing the worry lines. “And she always made my daughter’s favourite meal whenever we’d come over to visit. And she …”

The list went on and on. Jesus invites us to appreciate the abundance that is ours rather than worry about what anyone else is getting. It can be hard, but with a little humility and gratitude, there’s a way.

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