Tuesday, November 6, 2012

“Nobody ever did, or ever will, escape the consequences of his choices.”

In the last analysis, the individual person is responsible for living his own life and for "finding himself." If he persists in shifting his responsibility to somebody else, he fails to find out the meaning of his own existence. - Thomas Merton

(Gospel Text: 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.'"

As you can imagine, planning a “great dinner” is no easy task.  There is a lot of preparation and work involved.  

When the time of the banquet has arrived in today’s gospel, all of the host’s guests back out.  He is angered and rightfully so.  He spent time, energy, and money preparing this special meal with his guests in mind, and they declined to come at the last minute.

With a table full of food and no one to enjoy it, the master orders his servant to fill the table with the blind, crippled, poor, and lame.  When that has been done and there is still room at the table, the master asks that those from the highways and hedgerows be invited.

This story shows us our responsibility, our invitation.  We are all invited to God’s banquet table to dine with him.  We are freely given this invitation; not because of our own doings.  If we accept this invitation, we have the responsibility to show up, to participate, and to feast on the food the Lord provides for us.  We should not be lukewarm, accepting the invitation then coming up with a poor excuse to not show up.  Accepting this gift and truly following God means we are also accepting the responsibility that comes along with it.  We may have to make sacrifices, our lives may change when we have accepted the invitation of God, but dining at the banquet table of Christ and feasting off the good food He provides for us is worth it.

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