Luke 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.´"
Oh God, thank you for allowing me to come
into your presence. Your love enlarges my soul. I long
to see your face! I come to this prayer
with a thirst to just be in your presence, relax
under your loving gaze. May my presence here be
an expression of my love for you.
Petition: Lord, help
me to put aside all excuses when invited to
1. Valuing the Invitation: Some of the happiest
moments of our lives are spent around a banquet table.
Milestones are celebrated there, friendships grow deeper, and relationships
are renewed. Could this be why Jesus so frequently
used this image to describe heaven? Let’s spend a
moment thinking about the joy of heaven — of this
never-ending feast. We cannot fathom what it will be
like to see God and the inexhaustible beauty of
his Triune majesty. And the company will be great! In
the heavenly banquet it doesn’t matter where you sit:
you’ll be next to a saint, and the conversation will
2. Legitimate RSVP? Going to a banquet
takes some effort. You need to get a babysitter, pick
out something to wear and possibly alter previous plans.
If the invitation isn’t valued, that effort won’t be
forthcoming; instead, you will make excuses. They may express a
reality — those oxen are ready to go! —
but they camouflage the real issue: that particular banquet
doesn’t seem worth it. This should make us reflect on
the excuses we have about our spiritual lives. Do
they mask a growing spiritual mediocrity?
3. The House Will
Be Filled: The master of the house is upset because
the people that should have been the first to
accept his invitation turn him down. But everything is
purchased, and the party is ready to go. Someone will
have a chance to enjoy it. Here perhaps is
another angle for reflection: We are that master’s servants.
He wants his house to be filled, and he needs
us to make it happen. The servants are quick
and agile, and they understand what the master wants:
“There’s still room!” So too, let’s ask the Lord to
give us apostolic hearts that won’t rest until the
house is full. What a feast that will be!
with Christ: Lord Jesus, I am looking forward
to the day when we will be with you at
the feast of the Kingdom of Heaven. Help me
to understand that the joy and happiness of that banquet
are worth the sacrifice of any worldly priority. So
often I have excuses. Give me strength never to
be pulled away from you.
Resolution: I will accept
God’s invitation and not put anything in front of
my prayer life today.