USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke.
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.'”
Good News Reflection:
As Christians, we claim that in Jesus Christ we have found peace. And yet, despite our faith, we live in turmoil, anxiety, and the inner struggle for self esteem and acceptance. When we don’t like the way others treat us, we go to battle. We don’t know how to live in peace.
This happens because we get so busy taking care of the business and busyness of our lives that we miss the party that Jesus is hosting. Today’s Gospel reading teaches us that we only find true happiness when we accept the Lord’s invitation to dine with him — i.e., when we take time to enjoy his company and let him nourish us. Mass is an example of this type of banquet, but the invitation is for every day, all day.
We cannot taste a morsel of God’s goodness while we’re too busy or too distracted to stop, sit down, chat and dine with him. We need time alone with God, and our private parties with him should include all four stages if we’re to experience a life of peace.
1. Stop. Make the time to accept Christ’s invitation to dine with him (the time for it won’t exist unless you make the time).
2. Sit down. Put aside all distractions, all the excuses and reasons for doing something else with this time. Focus on God and your relationship with him. Otherwise, even if you’re sitting in a pew during Mass, you won’t be sitting with Jesus.
3. Chat. Tell Jesus that you love him. Thank him for being so good to you. Unload upon him the burdens of your concerns, worries, inner struggles, etc., but don’t forget to talk about the good stuff, too. After all, how do you feel when a friend only talks about troubles and complaints? Be a friend to Jesus by chatting with him about your joys and blessings and the thoughts that are uplifting to hear.
4. Dine. Allow Jesus to nourish you. Meditate on a scripture or discuss what you recently read in a book that is helping you to grow spiritually. Let him feed your dreams and hopes and desires as well as your hunger for love and acceptance.
If you do this daily, the burdens will become lighter and the worries less fearsome. Your self esteem will grow as you experience God’s acceptance of you and his appreciation for you. You’ll become more aware of the gifts that he’s given you and you’ll become inspired by the Holy Spirit to use those gifts. You’ll identify the purpose — the importance — of your everyday life.
In other words, you’ll find peace!
Here’s a way to stop, sit, chat, and dine with Jesus: Meditate on his love by using my WordByte “An Intimate Conversation You Can Have with Jesus” online at gnm.org/intimateconversation/. To get it in pamphlet form for use in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, go to catholicdr.com/faithbuilders/prayers/IntimateConv.htm.
I praise You and bless You, my Lord, because you look kindly on those who need you most. I need You, Lord. Thank You for looking at me and drawing me nearer to You. Amen.
© 2017 by Terry A. Modica