God invites you, because spiritually you are poor, crippled, blind and lame. R.S.V.P.
Luke 14:15-24 for Tuesday of the Thirty-First Week in Ordinary Time.
Christ made TWO points among others with the parable in this Gospel reading.
FIRST: God looks everywhere to invite everyone to dine in the Kingdom of God.
SECOND: not all accept the invitation.
In the FIRST point God does his part.
In the SECOND he leaves us free to choose and do our part.
We must always keep together these TWO points, these TWO truths.
In Christian history, perhaps every distortion, mistake, and heresy in spirituality and morality involves the partial or full denial of one or the other of these two truths.
God does his part, also giving us gracious help, but leaves us free to choose and do our part.
When he invites, it is ours to choose to believe him, hope in his promises, obey him, leave everything and follow him.
You shall love the Lord your God with ALL your soul, ALL your heart, ALL your mind and ALL your strength. [Lk. 10:27]
By faith we know that God in Christ lavishes on us what is better than anything else: he lavishes on us his very own self.
ALL his soul, ALL his heart, ALL his mind and ALL his strength!
It takes our own ALL to begin to enjoy the ALL, the fullness, of God, by imitating him and handing ourselves over to him in return.
For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven. [Nicene Creed]
In exchange, we— for God’s sake, for his glory, and with his gracious help— we work and make our way to come from the streets and alleys, the highways and hedgerows to dine in the Kingdom of God.
FAITH believes in such an exchange.
HOPE wants that exchange to happen.
LOVE makes the exchange.
We are free to turn down God’s offer, his invitation.
If we do, we leave ourselves out of his Kingdom.
The alternatives to his Kingdom do not offer too much that is genuine, nor do they offer anything lasting.
The world by itself, just as it is NOW, offers no everlasting, perfect or guaranteed foundation for HOPE, TRUST or LOVE.
We may try to escape through pleasures and distractions that avoid looking either beneath or above the surface of anything.
The way to lay the strongest footing for lasting and true happiness is the work of FAITH, HOPE and LOVE in the wonderful exchange to which God invites us.
Here in his Eucharist, we are about to take that risk.
Here in his Eucharist, God opens for us the banquet of his Kingdom.
He sends out his servants, the angels, the saints and ordinary members of the Church to search for us.
He searches us out in the streets and alleys, highways and hedgerows of our lives.
He searches for us in the poverty of our sins.
He searches for us because WE are spiritually the poor and the crippled, the blind and lame.
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.
Go out to the highways and hedgerows and make people come in that my home may be filled.
He certainly expects us to be eager for his invitation.
It is ours to take hold freely of what he offers freely, and ours to count no other relationship, possession or activity so important that we cannot set it aside at God’s invitation.
Here and now we celebrate the Wedding Supper of the Lamb of God.
If we attend with HOPE, with FAITH and with LOVE— treasuring, obeying, imitating and living out in our daily lives what we receive here— then we shall also rejoice in it forever in the Kingdom of God.
Turn. Love. Repeat.