Order of Friars Minor Franciscans of Canada

Invitation

Invitation

 

 

“Go therefore into the main streets,
and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.”
                                                                                                                                                – Matthew 22

Matthew 22:1-14 is an interesting parable and one that has several strong images and one that has theological insights and statements about what was going on around Jesus and around the time the gospel was written. In reading and reflecting on the gospel and in trying to seek clarity on those images, insights and statements I was struck by the line above and have spent some time pondering it for living today and in my call to be a Friar and our call to be disciples of Christ.


Go!
We are sent
not to hoard
to be witness
to live the gospel.

Into the main streets
beyond our comfort zones
among all peoples
to be in solidarity
in our everyday living.

Invite everyone
by our actions
to the gift of life
embraced and welcomed
to prepare the way.

To the wedding banquet
relief from our burdens
for every man, woman and child
in freedom, honesty and truth
fullness of the kingdom.

 

Am I ready? Sure am!
Am I ALWAYS ready? Not so much!!

That is the challenge of being invited to the banquet; the invitation comes in so many ways. So many of these ways and times I feel are inopportune yet turn out to be the true invites, the true encounters with Christ, the gospel lived with and for others celebrating life and the fullness of the kingdom. God knows no inopportune time for invitation for God is always at banquet.

At times it can be easy to go, but what do we do when we go is maybe the tough part or where we seek clarity. Maybe it’s not doing anything rather being, maybe it is being nourished for the next part of the invite, maybe it is reviewing the path so far or maybe it newness that is being unfolded. We have to ask ourselves how are we continually open to the invite, to prepare and embrace this gift.

I believe each day an invitation comes and how we respond is the challenge. Do we prepare and enter in or do we “sneak” in and then get left in the darkness? Do we let the gospel penetrate our lives or do we simply just hear words? The invitation is always given, what we do with it challenges us to be ready, to be honesty, to seek fullness of life.

Thank goodness our God is merciful, full of second chances and desires for us to be at the wedding banquet. Our God continually shows us ways to be ready… to go… to invite (and hear the invite)… to the daily gift of the banquet which ultimately leads to the heavenly banquet. Thank goodness!