Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Reflection: Luke 14:15-24
Tuesday of the 31st Week of Ordinary Time: Luke 14:15-24
The Gospel begins with Jesus once again at table. As they were enjoying the meal, one of the people at table said to Jesus: “Blessed is the one who will dine in the Kingdom of God.” Jesus responded to this statement in an unusual way. Jesus told his fellow diners a parable. “A man gave a great banquet and he invited many people to attend. When the banquet was prepared, the man sent his servants to go and tell his invited guests to come and enjoy the banquet.”
However, the response the servants received when they invited the guests to come was not the response the host expected. Many of the invited guests had excuses or reasons why they could not come to the banquet. One man said: “I have just purchased a field and I must go and see it.” Another invited guest gave the excuse that he had just bought 5 oxen and he needed to go and evaluate them. Another guest had the excuse of just getting married! How could he leave his new wife? Most of the invited guests were unable to attend the banquet. (I wonder if the excuses were real or if the excuses were given so they would not have to attend the banquet?)
The host who had invited the guests to the banquet was enraged. How dare everyone refuse to come to his banquet! After all, he was an important man. Finally the man decided to send his servants out to invite the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame to his banquet. The servants did so and many people came. However, there still was room for more guests. Thus the master instructed his servants to go out to the “highways and byways” and invite every person they met to the banquet. He was determined to fill his house with guests!
Jesus was not simply telling a story. In this parable, Jesus was referring to the many individuals who refused to listen to his invitation to come and dine with him. Today Jesus is inviting us to his house. Jesus wants to sit at table with us and talk with us. Jesus wants to break bread and share wine with each of us. How will you (and I) respond to his invitation? Will we also make excuses for not being able to take time to dine with him? Or will we joyfully accept his invitation and enjoy a long, leisurely meal with Jesus? What a wonderful opportunity we have been gifted with today. However, the question remains: Will we accept Jesus’ invitation? What will be your response?