Gospel: Luke 14:15-24
Upon hearing these words, one of those at the table said to Jesus, “Happy are those who eat at the banquet in the kingdom of God!” Jesus replied, “A man once gave a feast and invited many guests. When it was time for the feast, he sent his servant to tell those he had invited to come, for everything was ready. But all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘Please excuse me. I must go and see the piece of land I have just bought.’ Another said: ‘I am sorry, but I am on my way to try out the five yoke of oxen I have just bought.’ Still another said, ‘How can I come, when I’ve just got married?’
The servant returned alone, and reported this to his master. Upon hearing his account, the master of the house flew into a rage, and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly, into the streets and alleys of the town, and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’
The servant reported after a while, ‘Sir, your orders have been carried out, but there is still room.’ The master said, ‘Go out to the highways and country lanes, and force people to come in, to ensure that my house is full. I tell you, none of those invited will have a morsel of my feast.”
“Happy are those who eat at the banquet in the kingdom of God!”
The gospel passage gives us an insight into the “extension” of Jesus’ mission. He had original “invitees” but they turned the invite down. They did not show interest and made varied excuses. Hence, the invitation turned to those who were not part of the first plan, to partake of the great banquet in the Kingdom of God.
One, however, should not miss to realize that this has a powerful message about salvation. The offer of salvation is like being invited into the banquet of God’s Kingdom. But the concept of “invitation” should be understood well. While the invitation is freely offered, it doesn’t mean that one does not need to do anything about it anymore. It must be explicitly accepted; one must decide to say “yes” to it. Even if there is some sense of force or coercion to the invitation, assent is necessary. Just like the first invitees, everyone subsequently invited are free to refuse the invitation.
This gospel story Jesus told should be enough to encourage us people today. Fortunate will be those who will heed the invitation; they will have the chance of dining with the Master. Sorry for those who will refuse; they will be deserving of the Master’s rage.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2019