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Can a Seat be Given Up? Jesus at Table with Derrida

Brueghel, Peasant Wedding Last week our household received a parish newsletter which included a thoughtful reflection by one of the clergy on this Gospel set for last Sunday , and which we have heard again this evening, exhorting the readers to humility and generosity just as Jesus urged deference in seating at banquets, and selfishness in invitations. Scrolling down the page however one then encountered an advertisement for a concert featuring the storied music program of the same parish, which proclaimed "10 Days Left for exclusive access to the best seats in the house!" While this reflects a rather common reality of not quite seeing the point, or of just how hard it is to do so, it is also not hard to see that some quite concrete responses to Jesus' teaching about seats at table could quickly be self-defeating. The earnest disciple might consistently take the lowest seat, so as to be exalted; but then the lowest seat simply becomes a launching pad to the highest (and

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