Jesus reveals that many will not enter Heaven in the Parable of the Great Banquet. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of Piety from the Holy Spirit so he can focus less on himself and more on God and by building the Virtue of Gratitude so he can gratefully receive the many Fruits of Holy Communion in the Eucharist of Our Lord.
31st Week in Ordinary time – Tuesday – Lk 14:15-24
Invited to a Sabbath feast by a duplicitous Pharisee, Jesus goes on the offensive: He provocatively heals a man with dropsy on the Sabbath, He rebukes the Pharisees for their childish pursuit of honor, and corrects the host for perverting the practice of hospitality. Despite one man’s attempt to alleviate the tension (“Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the Kingdom of God”), Jesus continues His confrontation with the Pharisees and lawyers with The Parable of the Great Banquet.
Jesus’ timeless parable has application for Catholics of today. God the Father (the man) has prepared the wonderful feast of the Mass in His Holy Catholic Church (a great banquet) for all men (many). God sends His Son (servant) to urge all Catholics (those invited) to come to the Mass (the banquet). But many lukewarm Catholics (many of those invited) reject God’s invitation through Jesus to His Mass in the Holy Catholic Church (banquet) and make what appear to be reasonable excuses for why they are not interested: some are obsessed with business (field); some are distracted by wealth/possessions (the man with many oxen), some are distracted by personal relationships (married a wife).
Angry and zealous for men to be saved, God turns His attention to the salvation (attending the banquet) of the suffering and desperate (the poor, maimed, blind, lame). Having been rejected by those blessed to be Catholic (those invited), God the Father (the man) instructs Jesus (the servant) to continue to call those outside the Church (the highways, hedges) to convert (attend) and be saved (attend the banquet). Jesus revelation in the parable, “None of those men who were [first] invited shall taste my banquet”, is a warning of the loss of Heaven for Catholics who fail to repent from sin and respond to Jesus’ gracious offer of His Eucharist in the Mass.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be moved by Jesus, the perfection of Mercy and Justice: Son of the Father, Jesus generously lowers Himself into the world to announce the great blessings of the Kingdom of God; the perfection of Mercy and Diligence, Jesus relentlessly works to generously offer the merciful love of God the Father to all men; Divine Justice, showing the limits of His offer of Mercy, excludes from Heaven those who become entangled in the world and fail to respond to His invitation to Heaven in Faith and action.
Be helped by the Spirit to focus upon God
Realize: The pleasures and concerns of the world relentlessly dominate men’s attention, while the happiness and peace of Heaven is hidden or faint in men’s minds.
Believe: Reflect upon the Desire to see God (CCC 2548-2550).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Piety so You fill me with an intense desire to draw close to God, and I am compelled to give God heartfelt praise and glory many times each day.
Gratefully receive the many Fruits of Holy Communion
Realize: Like those who refused the invitation to the feast in The Parable of the Great Banquet, the majority of Catholic men refuse to keep the Sunday obligation; some are lazy, some prefer selfish pursuits, but most are simply ignorant of the stupendous blessings they could receive from Jesus through His Body and Blood.
Believe: Reflect upon the many Fruits of Holy Communion (CCC 1391-1401, 1416).
Pray: Jesus, Holy Eucharist, help me build the Virtue of Gratitude (a part of Justice) so I learn to be grateful for Your life-saving Eucharist, I show my gratitude by showing up for Sunday Mass, and I am blessed with the many Fruits of Holy Communion.