FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
Tuesday November 6, 2018
Thirty First Week of Ordinary Time
WORD of the DAY
One of his fellow guests on hearing this 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’”. (Lk 14: 15-24)
How shall I live this Word?
God chooses the last because they accept the invitation while the first refuse. The invitation is made to everyone, but not everyone accepts it. And what are the causes of the refusal? Possession, trade, pleasure. How many times does our heart choose other invitations and reject the Lord’s invitation? But He always waits for us: He wants to celebrate with us, He wants us to participate, that we share with all our heart, with our poverty, with our infirmity, with our feelings of inadequacy. We are the guests called to be Christians and called daily to participate freely in the banquet of the Word and Bread. It is a free invitation to be welcomed with joy and for which we must be grateful and proud.
Lord, give us the awareness of being invited by You, free of charge, to become Your children. Help us to be grateful for this inestimable gift; make sure that while we taste and value it, we can testify it to others so that they too may feel invited and participate in your life banquet.
The Voice of Pope Francis, Homily at St. Martha, 5 November 2013
“Christian existence is an invitation: we become Christians only if we are invited. We received a free invitation and the sender is God. But the gratuitousness also implies consequences, the first of which is that, if you have not been invited, you cannot react simplistically by answering: “I will buy the entry to go ! In fact you cannot! To enter you cannot pay: either you are invited or you cannot enter. And if in our conscience we do not have this certainty of being invited, we have not understood what a Christian is. We are invited for free, by the pure grace of God, pure love of the Father. It was Jesus, with His blood who opened up this possibility. […] Entering the Church is a grace, an invitation; you cannot buy this right. Secondly, it involves being community, participating with everything we have – the virtues, the qualities that the Lord has given us – in service of one another. This involves being available to what the Lord asks of us”.
Institute of Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Via dell’Ateneo Salesiano 81, 00139 Rome, Italy
Comment by Sr. Monica Gianoli, FMA