“For John came neither eating nor drinking and they say, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’” (Matthew 11:18–19)
In the heat of a moment, we might ascribe names that aren’t intended to encourage or inspire. When faced with hard questions or difficult decisions, it might seem easier to polarize than unify. When I preside at communion, I am reminded that it’s not my meal that I put on the altar, on the table. I am reminded of that so-called glutton who loved us so much that he died for our sins and for the sin of the world. As I preside at and distribute communion, I am reminded of that so-called drunkard whose resurrection is witness that life abundant will always prevail. Glutton and drunkard indeed. Come, Lord Jesus.
This message is adapted from “Faith Reflections: The parable of the picnic?” written by Kelly K. Faulstich that first appeared in the June 2011 issue of Café magazine. Today on this fourth Sunday of Pentecost, we remember Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, who died around 202.