Gospel Reading: Lk 14:15-24
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.’ ”
ONE BY ONE, THEY ALL BEGAN TO EXCUSE THEMSELVES
It is an oriental custom for upper-class families to send out two invitations: the first invitation announces the banquet; the second tells those who have accepted that the banquet is now ready. To accept the first invitation and refuse the second is considered discourteous and insulting to the host.
The three invited persons in the parable excuse themselves because they are busy. They consider their affairs more important than honoring the invitation. They are too preoccupied with earthly affairs (possessions and wife) to respond to the invitation to the banquet.
The Lord invites us always to come to the Eucharistic banquet, in which we make his saving acts present for us.
Sometimes we cannot come to Mass because we are busy with our business affairs. The parable corrects the complacent attitude of those who no longer find time for the Lord because they are economically and socially secure.
The response to the Lord’s invitation cannot be postponed;the invitation has to be answered now.
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