CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 29, 2010 ( When Christ encourages the faithful to take the lowest place at a wedding banquet, he points to the humility he himself shall embody on the cross, the "lowest place in the world," says Benedict XVI.

The Pope suggested this today before praying the midday Angelus with crowds gathered with him in Castel Gandolfo.

He reflected on the parable found in today's Gospel, in which Christ says, “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor at table. A more distinguished guest than you may have been invited, and the host who invited you and him may approach you and say, ‘Give your place to this man!’ … Rather, when you are invited, take the last place."

This is a lesson on the "decisive point" regarding humility, the Holy Father explained. 

And he said a "deeper meaning of this parable makes us also think about man’s position in relation to God. The 'last place' can, in fact, represent the condition of humanity degraded by sin, the condition from which the Incarnation of the only begotten Son alone can free it. For this reason Christ himself 'took the lowest place in the world -- the Cross -- and by this radical humility he redeemed us and constantly comes to our aid.'"

At the end of the parable, the Pontiff continued, Jesus tells the Pharisee to avoid making banquets for those who can return the favor.

"In the end," he said, "the greatest recompense will be given by God, 'who governs the world. … We offer him our service only to the extent that we can, and for as long as he grants us the strength.'"

Benedict XVI added: "Once again, therefore, we gaze upon Christ as model of humility and gratuity: from him we learn patience in temptations, meekness when we are offended, obedience to God in suffering, waiting for him who invited us to say to us: 'Friend, come up higher!'; the true good, in fact, is to be near him."

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