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Luke 14:15-24

The Word of God

One of the dinner guests, on hearing this, said to Jesus, 'Blessed is anyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!' Then Jesus said to him, 'Someone gave a great dinner and invited many. At the time for the dinner he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, "Come; for everything is ready now." But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, "I have bought a piece of land, and I must go out and see it; please accept my apologies." Another said, "I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please accept my apologies." Another said, "I have just been married, and therefore I cannot come." So the slave returned and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and said to his slave, "Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame." And the slave said, "Sir, what you ordered has been done, and there is still room." Then the master said to the slave, "Go out into the roads and lanes, and compel people to come in, so that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those who were invited will taste my dinner." '

Luke 14:15-24
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • The shared table is often present in the Gospel, one of the preferred images of the Kingdom itself. God, the King, prepares a big banquet with great care. All are invited to this celebration where they can enjoy the King’s generosity. This is the Good News proclaimed by Jesus, and this is shown by his closeness to sinners and to all those in need, and whose table he often shared. At the end of his life, he left us the Eucharistic meal, as his own memorial.
    • Yet many did not accept the invitation, even those who had been invited in advance. Many, even ourselves, find it difficult to accept the invitation to believe that God is so generous, we prefer not to get too close. The excuses are honourable ones, yet there is an urgency to God’s call: the Kingdom is here and we cannot postpone our response any longer. I look at any excuses I may be bringing to postpone accepting God’s invitation, and ask for the grace of a generous and trusting heart.
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    • Property, power and relationships are good reasons for staying away from the banquet; what would it be for me? What would be the reason for my saying, “Just one more minute and I'll be with you?”
    • If I am sometimes envious when I noticed the blessings of others, can I admit that I have let blessings passed me by?
    • The abounding generosity of God can be matched only by our ability to grow in humility and to trust as we ask again and again.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Portraying the kingdom of God as a festive meal is common in the Bible. We receive the invitation, "Come, for everything is ready now". What is our response? The meal may be ready, but are we? Where are our priorities? Do we want to enter the kingdom where God reigns or do we prefer to follow our own self-centred agenda? Who has not written a letter expressing "my regrets" when not wanting to accept an invitation? It is no different here.
    • Notice how the invitation becomes more and more inclusive as the story develops. We may be surprised at who we find beside us when we are seated at the heavenly feast. Is our own hospitality so inclusive?
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Jesus, how often my giving is corrupted by self-interest and the hope of favours in return. You gave to me without hope of return. I can do you no favours, but you taught me that love means giving without expectations, that there is more happiness in giving than in receiving.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Can you cast your mind back to when you last declined an invitation from Jesus? Do you recall when you were too busy to visit that old friend living alone? Or that single Mum who needed help? Or, indeed, that old neighbour who was ill in hospital? Did you say ‘I am too busy right now, I will call another day? How easy it is to put off something that puts extra pressure on our busy day?
    • Lord, give us the grace to respond to the many promptings of your Holy Spirit inviting us to reach out to the lonely, the lost, the sad, and the needy. Open our ears that we may hear you, and in the hearing take action.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • The invitation from Jesus to the banquet is for now. The time and place we meet Jesus and the mystery of God is now. Only the present is alive; the past is gone and the future yet to come. Prayer of any sort is entering into the ‘now' of God. God is the God of the present tense. The present moment is a sacrament of God's presence among us. Every breath we breathe is the gift of life and of love from God to us, in time of prayer and all day.
    • God's invitation is from the heart. God's love, like a generous banquet, is for all. The story presents God as being disappointed and even angry that we do not respond. Whatever anger God has does not last; the empty chairs at the banquet are to be filled by people who might not expect an invitation. All are invited to prayer, to love and to worship.
    • It is easy to become familiar with comforts, to lose the savour of good things.
    • I pray that I might have the generosity of the host who threw the banquet open. I think of how I embody the welcome and freedom that offers the goodness of God to all.
    • Like the people invited to feast, I often resist God’s invitation, I take time now just to be present with God who loves my company.

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