In this gospel lesson of St. Luke 14:16-24 the banquet pertains to God’s kingdom especially pertaining to Jesus’s work and eventually about the church. We hear of multiple excuses why the invited guests cannot come to the banquet. Regarding Gods kingdom (or banquet) in this parable which translates to including the Kingdom filled with undesirables (people), and the ones in the highway (the Gentiles). Christ mentions about “compel people to come in” which implies that He (Christ) has an arrangement to bring in lots of people to the banquet (Kingdom) and will not be disheartened by the ones who give excuses not to come.
Excuses, excuses, excuses!
Now let’s talk about our own excuses in today’s world and reflect about making excuses why we cannot come to church on Sunday. One most common excuse used is “Father, I didn’t make it to church because I came home late yesterday from the party!” Another one is, “I can pray at home!” And of course, there is the classic one of, “I couldn’t come to church because I had to prepare the food for the guys for Super Bowl Sunday!” Where do we place our priorities with God when it comes to Church? In this Gospel lesson it spoke of the banquet or kingdom. Did you know in the beginning of our beautiful Divine Liturgy when the priest says, “blessed is the kingdom!” which is the first fruits into the kingdom of God, and you are a part of it because you are in His house (Kingdom). So, let’s get with it everyone and prioritize our life with God meaning put Christ first above all!