One Monk of the Order of Saint Benedict

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The Word of God and the Body of God reveal each other -- the homily worships both.

November 03, 2009

For Tuesday of the Thirty-First Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Luke 14:15-24

Our Lord’s parable today makes two points among others.
First: many are called since God has thrown wide open the doors of his house for the whole world.
Second: not all accept the invitation.
The first point is that God does his part.
The second point is that he leaves us responsible for doing ours.
We must always keep these two points together.
In Christian history, perhaps every distortion, mistake or heresy in spirituality or morality involves the partial or complete denial of one of these two points.
First point, God does his part.
Second point, he leaves us responsible for doing ours.
How do we our part?
How do we move towards happiness in the banquet of God’s kingdom?
We do so by setting priorities.
When God invites, we leave everything to follow him.
When God commands, we leave everything to obey him.
When God promises, we leave everything to believe and hope in his promises.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your soul, all your heart, all your mind and all your strength.”
In Christ, we recognize that God lavishes on us what is better than anything else: he lavishes on us his very own self.
All his soul, heart, mind, and strength!
We begin to enjoy the all, the fullness of God only by imitating him, by handing ourselves over to him in return.
“For us men and for our salvation, he came down from heaven.”
In exchange, we— for God’s sake and for his glory— we work our way on the road to heaven’s banquet.
Faith believes in such an exchange.
Hope wants it to happen.
Love makes the exchange.
We are free to reject the offer God makes us in his Gospel.
If we turn down his invitation, we leave ourselves shut out of the Kingdom of God.
The alternatives to his kingdom do not offer much that is genuine or anything that is lasting.
The world just as it is offers in itself no permanent or real foundation for hope, trust or love.
We may try to escape through pleasure and distraction that avoid looking either beneath or above the surface of anything.
The only way to lay a foundation for lasting and honest happiness is the work of faith, hope, and love in the wonderful exchange to which God invites us.
Here in the Eucharist, we are about to take that risk.
Here in the Eucharist, God opens for us the doors of the royal wedding banquet of heaven.
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, highways, alleys and fields of our lives.
He searches for us in the poverty of our sins.
He searches for us when we are spiritually maimed, 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.
We must take hold of what God freely offers, and count no other relationship, possession or activity so important that we cannot set it aside at the invitation of God.
At this very minute we are attending the Wedding Banquet of the Lamb of God.
If we attend with hope, with faith and with love, treasuring, obeying, imitating and living out what we receive, we shall also rejoice in it forever in the Kingdom of God.

That God Be Glorified in All