I love a good deal. 30% off? Yes! 2 for 1? Better! Free? Wow! So I have a hard time trying to understand why the people in today’s reading would pass up a free dinner. This passage is sometimes referred to as The Parable of the Great Banquet. God is the master who has extended the invitation to dine in the kingdom of God. The excuses of those who decline the invitation are pretty weak. When no one shows up and the master extends the invitation to the homeless, the downtrodden, foreigners and others, we understand that God’s invitation is for all.
Reading this parable, it is easy to judge those who declined the invitation as foolish. But I wonder if I would have accepted an invitation to dine, especially when the invitation was extended to the marginalized of our society. If a banquet was held and we were seated with people who made us uncomfortable, would we want to stay or make excuses? I pray that Christ’s love would help my heart make the right decision.
Holy Lord, we come to your table as we are. Accept us and entreat us to go forth with the invitation for others to join in your heavenly banquet. Amen. — SQ