The Parable of the Great Feast
An anonymous author wrote this beautiful reflection, God, Speak to Me, for us to reflect if we really give attention to the call and invitation of God to His banquet. It runs this way:
The man whispered “God, speak to me” and a Bluebird sang but the man did not hear.
So the man yelled “God speak to me!” And the thunder rolled across the sky. But the man did not listen.
The man looked around and said” God let me see you.” And a star shone brightly but the man did not notice.
So, the man cried out in despair “Touch me God and let me know that you are here.”
Whereupon God reached down and touched the man. But the man brushed the butterfly away and walked on.
Don’t miss out on God’s blessings, just because they aren’t packaged the way you expect them to be.
In today’s gospel passage, Jesus talks about these invited guests who were ungrateful and who snubbed the invitation of God to a banquet. Many spiritual writers called this as “banquet of life,” presumably they followed this 1st century BC Latin poet and philosopher Lucretius who spoke of “banquet of life” in his long and famous philosophical poem De rerum natura.
What can a royal banquet tell us about God’s kingdom? A king or lord normally sent out invitations well in advance to his subjects, so they would have plenty of time to prepare for coming to the banquet. And in the Bible heaven is frequently described as a great wedding banquet celebration given by God. The good news is that we are invited to the most important banquet of all. But Jesus, in this parable of the banquet, takes an unexpected twist when the invited guests (also referring to us) made excuses. How insulting for the invited guests to refuse the king’s invitation when the time for celebration came! They gave less importance of the King’s request because they put their own interests above his.
God invites us everyday to His Eucharistic banquet so we can be nourished by his life-giving Word, Body and Blood and Spirit. But unfortunately, we have many reasons or excuses not to attend it and these can distract us from accepting such gracious invitation. Jesus mentions these reasons and excuses like: the first excuse is due to career or business that take precedence over God’s claim on us. We allow our work to absorb us and keep us from the thought of God. We are always on a hurry. We feel uneasy when a Mass exceeds the allotted time.
Second excuse is we allow other things we possess or want to distract us from the most important thing of all, God’s kingdom. Media like: television, radio, and so on or other diversions crowd out our time for God in prayer and study of his word. We spend hours watching television and yet we feel sleepy and tired when we pray.
The third excuse is we put our home and family ahead of God. God never meant that our home and relationships to be used selfishly. We serve God best when we invite Him into our work, community, homes and when we share our possessions with others.
At the end, let us be filled with this truth that God wants His house to be full. St. Paul affirmed this as well as the Church’s Magisterium frequently re-affirmed this too that God desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth, (1Tm 2:4). Such is the goodness of God who created the human person to know Him, love Him and serve Him in this life and to enjoy His presence forever in the life to come.
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