Who's at Your Banquet?
Do you invite everyone to the banquet? I know for myself, it's so much easier, and comfortable to stay within my own group of friends. When the professor tells us to spread out into groups with people we don't normally talk to, it's the most stressful thing. You like to stay with your friends right? The ones who know you, who won't take things you say offensively when it's a joke or a sarcastic remark. This is a normal feeling. I can guarantee that when Jesus told the disciples to go out without belongings to spread the Good News, they were afraid of being alone, not having their group of disciples surrounding them. However, this is God's calling for us, one of the first, most challenging acts of dicipleship, to get out of our comfort zones and share the Good News with all people. Not just those we are comfortable around, who probably already know this Good News. Where is God challenging you to step out and face the world?
Today's Gospel states: 'When one of those who sat at table with him heard this, he said to him, "Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!" But he said to him, "A man once gave a great banquet, and invited many; and at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, `Come; for all is now ready.' But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, `I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it; I pray you, have me excused.' And another said, `I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them; I pray you, have me excused.' And another said, `I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.' So the servant came and reported this to his master. Then the householder in anger said to his servant, `Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and maimed and blind and lame.' And the servant said, `Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.' And the master said to the servant, `Go out to the highways and hedges, and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet'" (Luke 14:15-24).
Today's reading talks about how we need to invite everyone into our family, to eat, pray, socialize and learn about God's love. There may be many who choose not to listen, who decline your offer, who have other things that 'take priority'. Not everyone will listen or take the time, but the key is to keep asking, to show them through not only words, but actions what it means to be loved by God, and share this same love with everyone. Don't force your opinion on people, but show them how having God in your life brings joy, and helps you take action to love in turn. Take some time to ask God to help you invite everyone to your table, to God's table.
Today we pray:
Thank You for calling me to eat at Your table. Thank You for helping me to see Your love in the world and help me to share this sme love with everyone, especially those who don't yet know You.
I pray this in Your most holy name, Amen.