In today’s Gospel from St. Luke (14:15-24), we are presented with the story of a wealthy man who has invited many guests from the local community to attend a great banquet, an incredible feast, at his home. But, in today’s story, when the moment of truth arrived and the meal prepared, those who had been asked to attend, refused to come, and they “began to excuse themselves.” (14:18) The specific reasons given for not attending were historically sufficient even to avoid participating in a holy war, according the Jewish Law. These were, by all accounts, extremely well-justified reasons for not accepting the invitation. Jesus points out, however, that this is no ordinary summons.
Jesus uses this parable to make an analogy of our invitation to follow him, to dine with him, and to bring about his Kingdom. We are invited to the Paschal Meal, the Supper of the Lamb, to receive our Lord and Savior, so that our lives may be transformed to bring about the Kingdom of God. Jesus invites us to the Eternal Banquet, yet we allow the passing things of this world to keep us from accepting.
What are we waiting for? What is holding us back? What are our reasons for not responding to the invitation? Lord, free me from my attachments and release me from my excuses. May I seek you and your kingdom first, and so give you glory and honor in all that I do, every day of my life. Amen.
Link to today’s Mass Readings