One of those at table with Jesus said to him, “Blessed is the one who will dine in the Kingdom of God.” He replied to him, “A man gave a great dinner to which he invited many. When the time for the dinner came, he dispatched his servant to say to those invited, ‘Come, everything is now ready.’ But one by one, they all began to excuse themselves. The first said to him, ‘I have purchased a field and must go to examine it; I ask you, consider me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have purchased five yoke of oxen and am on my way to evaluate them; I ask you, consider me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have just married a woman, and therefore I cannot come.’ The servant went and reported this to his master. Then the master of the house in a rage commanded his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in here the poor and the crippled, the blind and the lame.’ The servant reported, ‘Sir, your orders have been carried out and still there is room.’ The master then ordered the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedgerows and make people come in that my home may be filled. For, I tell you, none of those men who were invited will taste my dinner.'” (Luke 14: 15-24)
Too often, our daily lives obscure the fact that there is an invitation from Jesus to His father’s banquet every day of our life. We need to remember that the past is gone, the future is unknown but now can be our moment. We are being invited to go into the Lord’s banquet hall but we need to respond to the call. We do that by our totally accepting and living out the teachings of Jesus Christ.
But often, the things of this world distract us. Our own egos and pride may get in the way. Perhaps our sense that there is always tomorrow may blind us to the need to respond in a timely manner. Or perhaps we are just too comfortable where we are. But following God with all our heart is beyond material comfort. Following God with all of our heart and mind means giving up the word “self” and replacing it with “selfless.” Following God with all of our heart, mind and soul is to acknowledge that we will be uncomfortable because we have chosen to follow a path that is different from so much of what the world prizes.
Today’s scripture reminds us that those who eat together in the Kingdom are blessed, but only those who respond to the invitation will enjoy the privilege. We are being invited to go into the Lord’s banquet hall, but it is important that we respond to the call.
Prayer of The Day
Jesus, You gave to me without hope of return. You taught me that love means giving without expectations, that there is more happiness in giving than in receiving. Give us the grace today to respond to the promptings of your Holy Spirit so that our place shall not be with those cold and busy souls who have no time for God, but rather with “the poor and the crippled, the blind and the lame” at the table of our Lord’s heavenly banquet. Open our ears so that we may hear you, and in that hearing to take action in our daily life.
The adventure of salvation begins when we stop asking “What’s in it for me” and turn humbly to God in our hearts and ask “How may I serve you?” (Matthew Kelly – Rediscovering Catholicism)