Gospel Reflection Tuesday 31st Week Ordinary Time (7 November) – Our invitation to the banquet
Tony Worner, Leader of Formation for St Agnes’ Catholic Parish reads from Luke’s Gospel (14: 15-24) in which Jesus, who is still at the Pharisee’s house for dinner, tells a further parable about a banquet, to get his message across. Tony says if today’s parable sounds familiar, it should be – we heard Matthew’s version only several Sundays ago. It’s about excuses! Being human, we’ve been making excuses since the dawn of time – think Adam blaming Eve for eating the forbidden fruit; Moses when asked to lead his people, said he wasn’t good enough and doesn’t know what to say. And then in today’s Gospel, three people offer excuses for not attending the great banquet. In the story, the king is God, and the banquet is the kingdom of God. God offers in abundance without expecting anything in return – except to show up! Our humanity causes us to find excuses and other priorities for not attending. It’s only the tax collectors, the sinners, the poor, the blind and the lame, who are wise enough to understand what it all means. And it’s no different for us today. God has not withdrawn His invitation to this fabulous event. It’s still current, and the doors of heaven, the kingdom are still wide open. Tony asks but how do we respond? What excuses do we make? What other priorities do we have? Are we avoiding the obvious? Sooner or later, we will have to take responsibility for our choices. In closing, Tony invites us to pray, ‘God be with us to help us understand what our role is in accepting the invitation’.