The Bible: The Power of Rebirth

The Parable of the Great Dinner

Reflection on the Gospel of the Tuesday
In The Thirty-First Week Of Ordinary Time

 

Luke 14: 15-24

In today’s gospel the parable is not about showing courtesy to others. But, Jesus is once again teaching us a valuable spiritual truth. What is the point of the parable? It seems clear that the people who received the invitation represented the Jews. God chose Israel (invited them) to be His special people. God promised them a Redeemer and a new life as the children of God. The people said they wanted to be part of God’s family. However, when that Redeemer came on the scene they all made excuses for why they would not follow Christ.

The same thing continues to happen today. Recall the time you tangibly experienced the Lord at a retreat you attended or in your daily walk with the Lord when He asks you to do or avoid something, here we declare our desire to follow Christ more closely. But, when it comes to actually following Christ …. when action needs to be taken …. we come up with excuses …. for why we can’t read the Bible daily, can’t pray, can’t attend a prayer meeting regularly, can’t share our faith, can’t stand up to the teaching of the Magisterium, can’t conduct our business in a Christian fashion or why we can’t pursue a life of holiness.

Now these may seem like excuse, but the fact is that following Christ is simply not yet become important enough to us. Why? Because we are controlled more by our desires than our principles. If something else seems more desirable when the time comes to follow through on a commitment made with our Lord, we forget about what we said and pursue that which seems most pleasant at the time. And that’s how the excuses follow.

The positive message is this; God will not be discouraged by the refusal of a few people to follow Him. He will continue to offer the message of forgiveness, new life, and an intimate relationship even to those we might consider unworthy. If we refuse His invitation, if we continue to make excuses for why we cannot (and let’s be honest, we really mean “will not”) serve and follow Christ, it will be our loss and not His. The Banquet Hall of Heaven will be filled with those who have been transformed by God’s grace. The question is whether YOU and I will be part of the celebration.

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