Brothers and sisters: Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus, Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and, found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
R. (26a)I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people. I will fulfill my vows before those who fear him. The lowly shall eat their fill; they who seek the LORD shall praise him: “May your hearts be ever merry!” R.I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people. All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD; All the families of the nations shall bow down before him. R.I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people. For dominion is the LORD’s, and he rules the nations. To him alone shall bow down all who sleep in the earth. R.I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people. To him my soul shall live; my descendants shall serve him. Let the coming generation be told of the LORD that they may proclaim to a people yet to be born the justice he has shown. R. I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.
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.’”
By Teresa Thompkins
As I continue my journey into adulthood, naturally my responsibilities have increased, and my schedule has become more compact. Yet, I have begun to use this business as an excuse to deter myself away from spending time with the Lord and in prayer. In many parts of my day, I have found myself denying His Call to slow down, offer a prayer, or even look in gratitude at what surrounds me daily.
I continue to go down this slippery slope of thinking I can be efficient without God.
In today’s Gospel of Luke, I recognize these same tendencies present in those who were invited to the banquet of the Master. They each have an excuse - believing their duties, themselves, and even others to be of superior importance than God. In their excuses, they have denied themselves of their very own means of life – of the special banquet prepared for them by the Lord.
I, like them, underestimate God’s invitation to a deeper and personal relationship with Him. I, like them, so often forget where to find the strength and renewal of mind and spirit in order to thrive in all parts of my day.
In other words, I have begun to realize independence is found in dependence on God.
My pride would have me see something other than that – that which is false. For I am nothing without Christ. As Acts 17:28 says, “In Him, I live and move and have my being”.
I pray that I may recognize my utter need for Christ as the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind do when they accept the Master’s invitation to his banquet in the Gospel of Luke. I pray that I may take heed to listen and to follow when God calls me saying, “Come, everything is now ready”.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Teresa Tompkins is the youngest of eight children, and an auntie of twenty-two nieces and nephews. From a young age, she has been dedicated to serving and leading in music and youth ministries at her local parish and in various other communities. Teresa is currently a music teacher of voice and piano as well as in the process of completing her bachelor’s degree in Theology. You can find out more about Teresa here.