The Guest who Waits for an Invitation

“When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, go and take the lowest place….”

Jesus is inviting you and me into the pattern of his own humility. The Son of the Father was born on this earth in poverty, his parents fleeing for his life, a lowly carpenter by trade in the tiny non-descript village of Nazareth. 

As Jesus prepared to at last cast a fire upon the earth, the goal of his life and the passion of his heart, he not only took the last place at the Last Supper’s table, he knelt and washed the dirty feet of his closest friends and apostles, a slave’s work. And he distributed among these men—who all but one would shortly betray him and flee for their lives—himself in the Eucharist, that he might live as invisible, present, hidden light and love in his friends and followers for the rest of time.

In the book of Revelation Jesus knocks at the door of our heart. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, [then] I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me” (Rev 3:20). 

The last place is typically given to the one who has no power, no prestige, no position or possessions. To the one who is unable or who refuses to overwhelm others with force, but leaves them free. Thus Jesus waits for an invitation. He prepares those who will take the last place at the table by doing for them the service of the servant. He, in fact, becomes the very food of the Eternal Feast.

As Jesus accompanied the two disciples of Emmaus away from Jerusalem in their confusion and sorrow, he helped them gain clarity into God’s wisdom that included that his Christ must die and then be raised up on the third day. Jesus made as if to go on. He would have left, if the two disciples hadn’t pressed on him and twisted his arm to make him stay with them. Jesus came as guest, not as master of the table, and there he broke bread and gave it to them. And as he was now in them, he disappeared from their sight.

Jesus is still the One who knocks, the Guest who waits for an invitation, the Servant who does the work all else eschew, the One who willingly desires to give his Eucharistic heart to you at Mass. He has no power. He leaves you free. He will go on if you do not want him to enter. To stay. To serve. To give himself to you as Eucharist. Oh how he wept over Jerusalem. “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes” (Lk 19:42). 

Say YES to the One who takes the humblest place at your door, at your table, at the door of your heart. To the One who loves gently, vulnerably, truly. To the One who leaves you free. Say YES.

Contact the author

Sr. Kathryn J. HermesKathryn James Hermes, FSP, is the author of the newly released title: Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life’s Disappointments, by Pauline Books and Media. An author and spiritual mentor, she offers spiritual accompaniment for the contemporary Christian’s journey towards spiritual growth and inner healing. She is the director of My Sisters, where people can find spiritual accompaniment from the Daughters of St. Paul on their journey. Website: Public Facebook Group: For monthly spiritual journaling guides, weekly podcasts and over 50 conferences and retreat programs join my Patreon community:

Feature Image Credit: Moisés Becerra,