Do you know how many times Jesus used the image of a feast, wedding banquet, or party in the Gospel? Lots, that’s how many. He even performed his first miracle at a party (changing the water into wine at the wedding at Cana). The prophets used the image of a great celebration to show the way things would be when God reigned over the Earth, and the Book of Revelation depicts heaven as a kind of party, too. And, if you need any more reason to throw a party, take a close look at any Catholic calendar. See those names in red? Those are saints’ feast days, and there are lots of them, and “feast” = “party,” as in: “Hey, Mom, look! It’s the feast of St. Odo the Good! We should have a party!” (Yes, that’s a real saint—look it up!)
Clearly, you must put a really big party on your bucket list.
But if you’re going to party like Jesus would, here are a few things to think about:
- Make it really good, because Jesus’s parties always were meant to show what heaven was like: people joyfully coming together in the presence of God. There should be lots of good food, lots of good music, and helium balloons. Okay, Jesus didn’t have helium balloons, but he would have if helium had been discovered back then, trust me. There’s a parable in there somewhere. . . .
- Remember to invite God . . . or at least remember and honor God’s presence. You don’t have to put crucifixes on your party decorations or hand out rosaries as party favors, but—you know, keep it clean, right? Let hospitality, respect, and generosity be your guides.
- Invite the outcasts. One thing you’ll notice pretty quick about Jesus and parties—and the Kingdom of God that those parties represent—is that everyone is invited. Not only that, but the meek, the lowly, and the outcasts get special invitations. If you have your doubts about how this affects your guest list, pray about it; if you’re willing to reach out to someone on the margins, God will back you up—and maybe even surprise you.
- If you need an occasion to justify your party, pick a feast day.
“When you throw a dinner, invite those who cannot repay you.”