The Invitation

One of those at table with Jesus said to him,
“Blessed is the one who will dine in the Kingdom of God.”
He replied to him,
“A man gave a great dinner to which he invited many.
When the time for the dinner came,
he dispatched his servant to say to those invited,
‘Come, everything is now ready.’
But one by one, they all began to excuse themselves.
The first said to him,
‘I have purchased a field and must go to examine it;
I ask you, consider me excused.’
And another said, ‘I have purchased five yoke of oxen
and am on my way to evaluate them;
I ask you, consider me excused.’
And another said, ‘I have just married a woman,
and therefore I cannot come.’
The servant went and reported this to his master.
Then the master of the house in a rage commanded his servant,
‘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.’
The servant reported, ‘Sir, your orders have been carried out
and still there is room.’
The master then ordered the servant,
‘Go out to the highways and hedgerows
and make people come in that my home may be filled.
For, I tell you, none of those men who were invited will taste my dinner.'”
(Luke 14:15-24)

Scripture Study

14:15 one of those at table Luke 14:1–24 takes places at the home of a Pharisee (v. 1). dine in the kingdom of God Alludes to the great messianic feast anticipated at the start of the era inaugurated by the Messiah, which involves people from all nations (Isa 25:6; compare Luke 12:36; Rev 19:6–10).

14:16 a great dinner Matthew records a similar banquet parable in Matt 22:1–14.

14:17 it is ready Suggests that the feast was prepared.

14:18 consider me excused They refused to accept the invitation, citing what they believed to be more important obligations.

14:21 the poor and the crippled and blind and lame The people Jesus mentions would have been social outcasts. To their conditions, Jewish people often ascribed some sort of sinful behavior (John 9:2). Jesus’ ministry is to these type of people (Luke 4:18–19).

14:23 the highways and hedgerows Likely refers to extending the invitation to travelers. This may represent the inclusion of Gentiles (non-Jews) in God’s kingdom (compare 13:29). make people come in Foreigners and marginalized people likely would be hesitant to accept an invitation to such a banquet.

14:24 none of those men who were invited Another role reversal; those originally invited were excluded and those who were originally excluded participated in the banquet.

Scripture Reflection

Friends, today’s Gospel likens the kingdom of heaven to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. Notice that the father (God the Father) is giving a banquet for his son (God the Son), whose bride is the Church. Jesus is the marriage of divinity and humanity—and we his followers are invited to join in the joy of this union.

The joyful intimacy of the Father and the Son is now offered to us to be shared. Listen to Isaiah to learn the details of this banquet: “On this mountain the Lord of hosts will provide for all peoples a feast of rich food and choice wines, juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines.”

Now, there is an edge to all of this. For it is the king who is doing the inviting, and it is a wedding banquet for his son. We can see how terribly important it is to respond to the invitation of the King of kings.

We have heard the invitation of God to enter into intimacy with him, to make him the center of our lives, to be married to him in Christ—and often we find the most pathetic excuses not to respond.

– Bishop Robert Barron

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.