Today we are asked to accept the invitation of God to come to the banquet. The invitation can come in many different forms. All of us have received beautifully embossed invitations to a wedding, or funny invitations to a sixty-fifth birthday party or a plain hand-written invitation to a kid’s party. One invitation is not any less important than the other, even though one may look much better than the other.
In our day to day living, God’s invitations are coming at us all the time. The morning alarm clock, the greeting from our neighbor or co-worker, the papers on our desk, the child crying or asking for our attention—invitations come to us in many forms. Anytime we are asked to respond with a word, a deed, an attitude, a special form of presence to another—all of these times and more, we are responding to God’s invitation. It’s true we don’t recognize it immediately as God calling us, but on reflection we can see that our friend, or spouse, or co-worker needed us in some special way.
Or perhaps God’s invitations come in the form of abundance—faithful friends, great health, wonderful art, comforting and uplifting music, good family, nature and so many other things. When we take all of these things for granted, when we think that we deserve and have a right to every good thing that comes our way, we are no longer seeing God’s invitations in our lives. Answering God’s invitation means first of all just becoming aware of the many invitations that flow our way each day of our lives.
If we continue to practice this awareness of God’s gifts, we will allow a deep and life-giving gratefulness to take root in our hearts. Then we will no longer find ourselves occasionally giving thanks. Instead, we will live each day in the life-giving atmosphere of gratefulness.
“Christ has no body now, but yours. No hands, no feet on earth, but yours. Yours are the eyes through which Christ looks with compassion on the world. Yours are the feet with which Christ walks to do good. Yours are the hands with which Christ blesses the world” (St. Teresa of Avila, 1515-1582, Feast is October 15). Have a good week, enjoy this beautiful season of autumn, and may God bless you and keep you always in His Love!
Listen to my homily today: (Posted after Mass.)
Joyfully in the Lord,
Rev. Msgr. Edward J. Arnister
Pastor, St. Rose Parish