Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 07.11.2023
ROMANS 12: 5 – 16a
Brethren: We, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; he who teaches, in his teaching; he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who contributes, in liberality; he who gives aid, with zeal; he who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honour. Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints, practise hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another.
The Word of the Lord.
Psalm 131: 1, 2, 3
R/. Keep my soul in peace at your side, O Lord.
O Lord, my heart is not proud,
nor haughty my eyes.
I have not gone after things too great,
nor marvels beyond me. R/.
Truly, I have set my soul
in tranquillity and silence.
As a weaned child on its mother,
as a weaned child is my soul within me. R/.
O Israel, wait for the Lord,
both now and forever. R/.
Matthew 11: 28
Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest, says the Lord.
Go out to the highways and hedges, and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.
LUKE 14: 15 – 24
At that time: One of those who sat at table with Jesus said to him, “Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!” But he said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet, and invited many; and at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come; for all is now ready.’ “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it; please, have me excused.’ “And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them; please, have me excused.’ “And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ “So the servant came and reported this to his master. Then the householder in anger said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and maimed and blind and lame.’ “And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ “And the master said to the servant, ‘ Go out to the highways and hedges, and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.”’
The Gospel of the Lord.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: You are Invited
November 7, 2023
“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.” (Luke 14:16–18)
Do you ever excuse yourself from the will of God? Do you pass up His invitation to feast at the table of His great dinner? More than anything else, the invitation God has given us to this “great dinner” is the invitation to participate in the Holy Mass and to pray. The fact that some would regularly excuse themselves from such an invitation shows that they do not understand that to which they have been invited. Others attend physically, but interiorly they are far from the feast that they attend.
In this parable, one after another of the invited guests did not come. So the man throwing the dinner sent out an invitation to “the poor and the crippled, the blind and the lame.” This is a reference to those Jews of Jesus’ time who recognized their need for the gift of salvation. They are those who were aware of their weaknesses and sins and knew that Jesus was the answer.
After the poor, crippled, blind and lame came to the feast, there was still more room. So the man sent his servants to invite those from “the highways and hedgerows” which is a reference to the Gospel being preached to the Gentiles who were not of Jewish origin.
Today, this feast continues to be offered. There are many lax Catholics, however, who refuse to come. There are those who find that life is too busy for them to make time for prayer and for Mass. They are those who are so caught up in worldly pursuits that they see little personal benefit in devoting themselves to the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.
If you wish to be among those who attend the feast of our Lord, you must work to identify yourself with the poor, crippled, blind and lame. You must recognize your brokenness, weaknesses and sins. You must not shy away from seeing yourself this way because it is to those that Jesus sends a desperate invitation. His desperation is an all-consuming desire for us to share in His love. He wants to love and heal those in need. We are those who are in need.
When we come to our Lord’s Feast through prayer, fidelity to His Word, and by our participation in the Sacraments, we will notice that He wants others to join us for His feast. Therefore, we must also see ourselves as those servants who are sent forth to the highways and hedgerows where we will find those who do not follow God’s will. They must be invited. Though they might not feel as though they belong, God wants them at His feast. We must do the inviting.
Reflect, today, upon two things. First, reflect upon any excuse you regularly use when God invites you to pray, to deepen your faith, and to participate in the Eucharist. Do you respond immediately and with eagerness? Or do you excuse yourself more often than you want to admit? Reflect, also, upon the duty given to you by God to go forth to the most lost souls so as to invite them to God’s feast. Our Lord wants everyone to know they are invited. Let Him use you to send forth His invitation.
My generous Lord, You have invited me to share in the glory of Your great Feast. You invite me every day to pray, grow strong in my faith, and to share in the Holy Eucharist. May I always respond to You and never excuse myself from Your invitations. Please also use me, dear Lord, to send forth Your invitation to those most in need. Jesus, I trust in You.