We have heard the invitation of God to enter into intimacy with him, to make him the center of our lives, to be married to him in Christ—and often we find the most pathetic excuses not to respond.

Today’s opening remark is not taken from our readings as I usually do, but from the reflection Bishop Barren offered on the Gospel this morning.  This Gospel rings true to my heart because this is the sole purpose of my blog each day…to get people back to church on Sunday.  We are all invited.  The question is – do we all accept?

How many invitations will sit on our refrigerators as a reminder to come?  How many prophets must write to us, preach to us, plead to us to accept the invitation offered to us?  Who else must the God of our fathers sacrifice for us in order to believe that this invitation is real?  Plain and simple – do want to come to the banquet or not?

We all have a purpose in life.  Our first reading does a great job explaining how we are all different but one body.  But if in our purpose we lose track of our source, our lives are lived in vain.

We, though many, are one Body in Christ
and individually parts of one another.
Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us,
let us exercise them…

Do not grow slack in zeal,
be fervent in spirit,
serve the Lord.

Who is our source?  God.  What is our purpose?  To serve God righteously.  So if all our good works during the week only lead us to a golf course or an easy chair or a cup of “joe” and the morning paper instead of at Mass on Sunday morning, what good has your good works done for you?  for me? for any of us?  I know you’re tired at the end of the week.  I know you need to recharge your batteries and get ready for the week ahead of you.  You don’t have to tell me about stress and busy schedules and impossible clients and bills.  We all have them.  But as a witness to the saving power of God, I can tell you without a doubt that the only reason I am able to face the stress’ and challenge’s of life is because of my relationship with God and my willingness to accept His invitation.  Take a close look at Today’s Gospel acclamation:

Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest, says the Lord.

Do you labor? Are you burdened?  Are you looking for rest?  Go to God – in Him and in Him alone will you find the peace you are looking for.  If you do anything today, heed this warning found in the closing line of today’s Gospel…

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.'”

Do something great for our Lord today – take that invitation off your refrigerator, fill out the RSVP, put the date in your smartphone…Sunday morning, Mass at (fill in your parish); time (fill in your Mass schedule).  Enough of the excuses – it’s time to step up and get to the banquet.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

But you, man of God, pursue righteousness,
devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.
Compete well for the faith.

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