Romans 12- 5-16
Luke 14: 15-24
We pray on this day “May we hasten without stumbling to receive the gifts you have promised”. We are about to enter the final weeks of the church’s year. Soon we will start to see holly sprinkled with snow, reindeer in the heat of summer and so many reminders that draw us to spend more than we can afford and to forget the basic realities of our lives.
The letter to the Romans reminds us: All of us form one body in Christ. As parts of the body of Christ, we belong to one another! If our gift is prophecy or administration or teaching or preaching or giving alms or help or doing works of mercy, we are reminded that our gifts differ according to the grace that is given to us. But, whatever the gifts we are given, we are to “do them cheerfully.” And we are reminded that we will stay cheerful “if you have hope”
Today’s gospel reading urges us to remember that we are always on the receiving end of grace and goodness and love. Jesus tells us a yarn about keeping our word and remembering to say thanks. A man threw a great feast and invited many, many people. When preparations were finished, he sent servants to let those invited to come to the feast. Come along, everything is ready now. But all alike started to make excuses. The Giver was really disappointed, indeed he was outraged.
Today’s gospel somehow reminds me of a story. The parish church was making an appeal. A man stepped up and said I’d like to make a donation. He took out his chequebook and wrote a cheque for $1000. The priest said: ‘I think that you forgot to sign it’. The man said: ‘If it’s alright with you Father, I’d prefer that the gift was anonymous! Maybe I, or is it we, say the right things, but don’t follow through in being true to our words.
Let’s pause and treasure the way our lives have been gifted. But let’s also remember the true invitation to truly live the truth that “All of us form one body in Christ. As parts of the body of Christ, we belong to each other. Treasure the gift you have been given. But don’t forget to use it!
Fr. Kevin Dance CP is the vicar of the St.Brigid’s Retreat, Marrickville. He is very actively involved in ministries locally and at Passionist International where he served as the Executive Director for many years.