Tuesday of the 31st Week of the Year

Luke 14:15-24

The Parable of the Great Feast

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:

Several years ago I had the chance to be a part-time chaplain of a small parish near our formation house in Davao. I remember the many invitations for meals, dinners, parties and gatherings at homes and different places in the community that I received.

In some instances, invitations came at the same time. These were times that I “failed” to attend any of them for varied excuses and reasons, like the following: “I’m on diet, I’m tired and sleepy, waiting for important calls, my community needs my presence, community meetings, homily to prepare, early trip in the morning, too busy, early mass, bad weather, no car available, etc.

With God’s invitation however, there is a difference. God is a gracious and joyful host who invites all people to come and to share in his dinner. The invitations have already been sent out and the servants are now calling the people to fill up the table. The dinner can no longer be postponed. And yet some refused to accept the invitation. But then, God does not sit down at table until all the places are occupied.

God longs for the company of each one of us in his kingdom. We cannot postpone accepting his invitation to “love, adore, praise and thank him and to do good to our neighbors” to some future date. It has to be now. How sad and tragic it will be if “none of those men who were invited will taste my dinner? Either now or in the future because of failure to respond to his invitation. (Fr. Gerry Donato, SVD Bible 2002)

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In today’s gospel, the Lord prepared a banquet and sent his invitation. Those who were invited excused themselves. They were tied to their worldly affairs and concerns that they could not attend the banquet.

What makes it difficult for us to follow the Lord is that the world has dictated upon us what we have to believe in and how we have to live our lives. The lure of this world is so enticing that one never finds satisfaction in what one has and in what one has achieved. One craves for more. We create our own needs.

In so doing, time has become so swift that we have become so busy to spare a few moments to respond to God’s invitation to be with him. Our schedule is just so hectic that every second is very crucial in the realization of what we want to become. In order for God to see us, He has to make an appointment in that way we can insert him in our busy schedule.

When the Lord calls us, do we make a lot of excuses? Even then God will continue to invite us and will wait until we respond. (Fr. Michael Layugan, SVD Bible Diary 2006)

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In November 2004, a friend of mine, a teacher at a public university in the City of Jakarta told me that he had helped at least five Muslim women at his workplace in their effort to become Christian Catholics. Then he posed these questions: “Am I wrong in doing this? Why should I help others become Christians if there are some truths and good values in other religions as taught by the Second Vatican Council?” (cf. Nostra Aetate # 2)

According to the Christian understanding, God’s salvation is an invitation and man has the freedom either to accept the invitation or to ignore it. The role of Christians, as the parable today indicates, is to spread God’s invitation to others.

If man chooses to accept God’s invitation, he should do it in freedom and out of genuine love. However, if man chooses not to accept God’s invitation, he will lose the chance of being forever with the One who invites.

It might be a good idea to ask ourselves again:

  1. Have I accepted God’s continuous invitation to His eternal banquet?
  2. Have I made an effort to spread God’s invitation of salvation to others, to my friends, to my neighbors, to those who still invitation to His eternal banquet? Do not know God’s love in and through Jesus Christ? (Fr. Alexander Jebadu Bible Diary 2007)

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The great banquet in today’s gospel illustrates the salvation that God prepares for His people. Jesus came to announce this salvation. He invited guests, those who were supposed to be just and worthy in Israel but they ignored His message. Today’s parable is a great reminder to us of the seriousness Jesus’ teachings. Refusal to accept, to ignore or to be indifferent to his message now will mean exclusion from the banquet in heaven.

The parable is also an allegory describing man’s reactions to the invitation of God. The distinguished guests, for whom the banquet was originally prepared, made excuses even if they promised to come. The parable teaches that since the leaders if Israel declined the invitation to enter the Kingdom of God, they were replaced by the outcasts and the Gentiles.

We may feel sorry for the distinguished guests who forfeited their rare privilege of partaking in the special banquet because of their refusal to come. But do we feel sorry for ourselves too for the many times we failed to respond to the Lord’s special invitation to partake in the Eucharistic banquet being served to us everyday, all because of many little and petty excuses and preoccupation? How often have we refused Jesus’ invitation to spend some moments of intimacy with Him because we prefer to watch television, browse the internet, text friends and attend to other interests? Let us attend to the message and warning of today’s gospel, or at the end of our lives we will be counted among those who will not taste the eternal banquet in heaven. (Fr. Emmanuel de Leon, SVD Bible Diary 2008)

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Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Daily Reflections from a Student’s Point of View

Romans 12:5-16ab
Psalm 131:1bcde, 2, 3
Luke 14:15-24

Today’s scriptures are especially rich. They speak of a life spent in community and the fullness that comes to us through a healthy community and the relationships that follow.

Community is a challenge today. It is hard to find an integrated whole, as we have various circles of friendship and function. Our family, our work, our neighborhood, and our church include different groups of people, which often do not overlap. We do not even know some groups, as we drive home into our automatic garages and enter our walled-off backyards or disappear into our living rooms to watch television. These disconnections make it hard to understand and experience our place as part of a larger whole.

Work may also seem disassociated from a broader purpose. Modern industrial approaches built upon specialization may be extracting higher material values from labor, but the worker may feel a lack of connection to the finished product or process. Saint Paul’s advice may help us with these concerns, as he encourages us to be part of the community by focusing on whatever it is that we do well. If we exercise our gifts within the context of community – even gifts that may seem narrow or unimportant – we can trust God that they will be helpful and sufficient for His purposes.

The Psalmist focuses on contentment, which is also a challenge for us. Having five children, I know that my sweet wife has nursed all of them. That activity comforted a crying child on many occasions. When we are nursing children, life is all about having our own needs met. I hear this on a different scale outside my window, as weaned calves are bawling and their mothers are mooing back to them. Like children, those calves do not yet know the contentment of being still and enjoying mature food.

The invited guests in today’s Gospel seem somewhat like the unweaned child, in that their own agendas are keeping them from the contentment and joy that will undoubtedly come from the banquet. At one level, it seems easy to read this story and to say, you are being so foolish! You are missing the party! Can your excuses be more important than being part of the community of celebration? Don’t you realize how offensive this must be to the Master of the feast?

Coming from a rural farming community, I can also see earnestness in their excuses, which are all rooted in a desire to do well in their work. When work is important to us, it is easy to convince ourselves that we won’t really be missed if we don’t come. And after all, the result of that work may seem more enduring than a night of celebration, which seems rather frivolous and ephemeral.

But we need to remember the sensibilities of the Master of the feast and the value of sharing our lives with others. He desires our presence, and he may also see through the excuses we give, which ultimately do not measure up to the value of being there. Even if we don’t much feel like going, sometimes just being there brings us into the celebrating mood. And we can all remember experiences where coming meant so much to the host, or to someone there who was glad to see us.

While it is true that the party will not be the same without us, we also need to remember that the party will go on without us. In this sense, the invitation is not all about us after all. It is about sharing the joy of the Master as His celebration goes on. Though St. Augustine was undoubtedly accurate in describing our restlessness apart from God, it is important to realize that we need the power of human community – and that the community needs us, too.

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WORD Today (Rom 12:5-16; Lk 14:15-24)- A great moment of our lives is to be at a table with good food and close friends. A birthday invitation from a friend at a famous restaurant with the barkada is hard to resist. We reschedule other activities to be free on that day. We prepare our clothes and a gift to bring.

God would be happy if this is our attitude toward His invitation for the Great Banquet in heaven. He sent Christ to personally invite us. Sadly we make so many excuses not to come. These excuses maybe valid but it’s our attitude of not making any attempt to reschedule other concerns in favour of His invitation that hurts who waits eagerly for our arrival. O St. Pedro, heavenly barkada, help us say yes and prepare our hearts as gifts to God (Fr. Iko Bajos Nov 3, 2013).

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TUESDAY OF THE 31ST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR A) – LUKAS 14:15-24. Unsa may hinungdan sa atong pagbalibad sa mga pagdapit sa Dios? Diha sa sambingay, ang unang dinapit sa hari nibalibad tungod kay aduna siyay susihon sa iyang napalit nga yuta. Mas gi-una niya ang trabaho kaysa kombira sa hari. Pangutana: Gitugotan ba usab nato ang atong trabaho o negosyo nga makapalayo nato sa Dios? Ang ikaduhang dinapit nibalibad tungod kay nakapalit siyag 5 ka pares nga mga baka. Gipalabi niya ang kabtangan kaysa pagpakig-uban sa hari. Pangutana: Gitugotan ba usab nato ang mga materyal nga butang nga makababag sa atong pagpaduol sa Dios? Ang ikatulong dinapit nibalibad tungod kay bag-o lang siyang nangasawa. Mas importante niya ang iyang kapikas kaysa hari. Pangutana: Nakababag ba usab nato ang atong pamilya sa pagsunod sa kabubut-on sa Dios? Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2014/11/tuesday-of-31st-week-in-ordinary-time.html

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Monday, November 2, 2015

TUESDAY OF THE 31ST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – LUKAS 14:15-24. UNSA MAY HINUNGDAN SA ATONG PAGBALIBAD SA MGA PAGDAPIT SA DIOS? Diha sa sambingay, ang unang dinapit sa hari nibalibad tungod kay aduna siyay susihon sa iyang napalit nga yuta. Mas gi-una niya ang trabaho kaysa kombira sa hari. Pangutana: Gitugotan ba usab nato ang atong trabaho o negosyo nga makapalayo nato sa Dios? Ang ikaduhang dinapit nibalibad tungod kay nakapalit siyag 5 ka parisan nga mga baka. Gipalabi niya ang kabtangan kaysa pagpakig-uban sa hari. Pangutana: Gitugotan ba usab nato ang mga materyal nga butang nga makababag sa atong pagpaduol sa Dios? Ang ikatulong dinapit nibalibad tungod kay bag-o lang siyang nangasawa. Mas importante niya ang iyang kapikas kaysa hari. Pangutana: Nakababag ba usab nato ang atong pamilya sa pagsunod sa kabubut-on sa Dios? Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2015/11/tuesday-of-31st-week-in-ordinary-time.html

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Reflection for Tuesday November 4, Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 14:15-24 – Reflection: What occurs in a dinner? There’s breaking of the bread, there’s sharing, interaction, exchange of ideas and the like. We are not invited to a dinner to simply eat and go. We are invited because the host wants to know more about us, the host wants to bless us with the food that he prepared.  And he wants to exchange even for a brief moment small talk that could further enhance and strengthen the relationship between the invitee and the host.

When we honor the Holy Mass with our presence we respond to the invitation of Jesus to be present at this Sacred and Holy celebration. We break bread with Jesus, we interact with Jesus and we open ourselves to the innumerable blessings that Jesus alone could bestow upon us.

But like in the gospel many of us will refuse to go to Holy Mass because we have our other preoccupations. We miss a lot when we decline to be present at Holy Mass foremost of this is we miss this opportunity to know Jesus deeply.

It’s sad to think that many Catholics leave the church for other Christian churches because as they would say. They want to develop a personal relationship with Jesus through His written words in the bible.

But if only we would take time to religiously be present at Holy Mass. Jesus Himself will give us the grace to know Him deeply. Jesus Himself would prod us to open our bibles so that He could reveal more about Himself to us.

The deepening of our intimacy with Jesus emanates with our presence at His dinner banquet which is none other than the Holy Mass. Let us therefore go to this one hour celebration and build a deeper relationship with Jesus.

Do we always honor this invitation of Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2014/11/reflection-for-tuesday-november-4.html

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November 3, 2015

Tuesday of the 31st Week in the Ordinary Time

Rom 12: 5-16a;  Lk 14: 15-24

Make Use of the Opportunities

The Parable of the Great Feast was an indictment of the Scribes and Pharisees who did not respond to the message of Jesus. Because of their obsession with their traditions, customs, rituals and laws the Scribes and Pharisees could not find anything good in the new movement Jesus had started. On the other hand they saw it as threat to their religion. As the guests in the parable gave various excuses for not participating in the feast, the Scribes and Pharisees had various excuses for not accepting the teachings of Jesus.  The history of Christianity shows that not many Jews accepted Christianity, although Jesus was a Jew and his main focus was bringing about a transformation in his own people. Christianity was accepted mainly by non-Jews.

What message this parable gives to the followers of Jesus? The followers of Jesus cannot be complacent and presume that they are already saved because they happened to be Christians. The routine rituals and prayers may not make them true followers of Jesus. Being born as a Christian is only an invitation to be a disciple of Jesus. “I tell you all that none of those men who were invited will taste my dinner” is a warning to the Christians that they cannot be guaranteed of the Kingdom of God simply because they happened to be born and brought up in Christian families.

Bertrand Russell in his book, “Why I am not a Christian?” says, “I know only one Christian, but he is not a Christian”.  He wrote about Mahatma Gandhi. Although Mahatma Gandhi was not a formal member of any Christian denomination, he was practicing the principles and values taught by Jesus, especially the Sermon on the Mount. He is one among those who really accepted the invitation of Jesus to experience the Kingdom of God.

Babe Ampte, who empowered thousands of lepers by transforming them as workers and managers, was following the values and principles of Jesus. He once said, “It is easy for a man to love God, but it is difficult for him to follow the commandment –love thy neighbour.” He also said “The cross is the emblem of crucifying one’s life to make others happy. It makes us yield up the love of life for the life of love. I am a follower of Christ, but not that sort of Christian who says, I have an executive meeting at four thirty, while there is a man dying in the gutter.” He made the above mentioned statement only after living and working with the lepers as one among them.

We, the followers of Christ, are in the process of becoming the Disciples of Christ. The more we make use of the opportunities to practice the core values of Jesus- forgiveness, sensitivity, compassion, sharing and service without counting to that extent we become the Disciples of Jesus. Every day God provides us with opportunities to forgive, to show compassion, to share our time and resources with the needy and to make our services available to others.

The various religious practices like prayers, devotions, pilgrimages, penance and sacrifices should motivate and strengthen the followers of Jesus to make use of the opportunities to practice the core values. The followers of Jesus who are preoccupied with the rituals and devotions and fail to make use of the opportunities to practice the core values are like the guests who turned away the invitation for the feast, advancing flimsy excuses.

The Scribes and Pharisees at the time of Jesus were so much preoccupied with their religious practices that they failed to practice the most important commandment, loving God and loving one’s neighbour. Today what is promoted under the guise of spirituality is mainly religiosity based on the Old Testament. Jesus had taught his disciples to transcend the Old Testament and focus on the practice of love. That is why he gave only one commandment to his disciples, “Love one another as I have loved you”.  Any opportunity to practice love is an invitation to build the kingdom of God and experience the kingdom of God and we get plenty of such opportunities. Are we making use of them? Fr. Jacob Peenickaparambil CMI

navchetana.com/web/homilies.php?date=2015-11-3

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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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