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Homilies :: Latin Rite
Tuesday of the 31st Week in the Ordinary Time Download This Homily

Rom 12: 5-16a

Ps 130: 1, 2, 3,

Lk 14: 15-24


Make Use of the Opportunities


The Parable of the Great Feast was an indictment of the Scribes and Pharisees who did not respond to the message of Jesus. Because of their obsession with their traditions, customs, rituals and laws the Scribes and Pharisees could not find anything good in the new movement Jesus had started. On the other hand they saw it as threat to their religion. As the guests in the parable gave various excuses for not participating in the feast, the Scribes and Pharisees had various excuses for not accepting the teachings of Jesus.  The history of Christianity shows that not many Jews accepted Christianity, although Jesus was a Jew and his main focus was bringing about a transformation in his own people. Christianity was accepted mainly by non-Jews.


What message this parable gives to the followers of Jesus? The followers of Jesus cannot be complacent and presume that they are already saved because they happened to be Christians. The routine rituals and prayers may not make them true followers of Jesus. Being born as a Christian is only an invitation to be a disciple of Jesus. I tell you all that none of those men who were invited will taste my dinner is a warning to the Christians that they cannot be guaranteed of the Kingdom of God simply because they happened to be born and brought up in Christian families.


Bertrand Russell in his book, Why I am not a Christian says, “I know only one Christian, but he is not a Christian”.  He wrote about Mahatma Gandhi. Although Mahatma Gandhi was not a formal member of any Christian denomination, he was practicing the principles and values taught by Jesus, especially the Sermon on the Mount. He is one among those who really accepted the invitation of Jesus to experience the Kingdom of God.


Babe Ampte, who empowered thousands of lepers by transforming them as workers and managers, was following the values and principles of Jesus. He once said, “It is easy for a man to love God, but it is difficult for him to follow the commandment love thy neighbour. He also said “The cross is the emblem of crucifying one’s life to make others happy.” It makes us yield up the love of life for the life of love. I am a follower of Christ, but not that sort of Christian who says, I have an executive meeting at four thirty, while there is a man dying in the gutter. He made the above mentioned statement only after living and working with the lepers as one among them.


We, the followers of Christ, are in the process of becoming the Disciples of Christ. The more we make use of the opportunities to practice the core values of Jesus- forgiveness, sensitivity, compassion, sharing and service without counting to that extent we become the Disciples of Jesus. Every day God provides us with opportunities to forgive, to show compassion, to share our time and resources with the needy and to make our services available to others.


The various religious practices like prayers, devotions, pilgrimages, penance and sacrifices should motivate and strengthen the followers of Jesus to make use of the opportunities to practice the core values. The followers of Jesus who are preoccupied with the rituals and devotions and fail to make use of the opportunities to practice the core values are like the guests who turned away the invitation for the feast, advancing flimsy excuses.


The Scribes and Pharisees at the time of Jesus were so much preoccupied with their religious practices that they failed to practice the most important commandment, loving God and loving one’s neighbour. Today what is promoted under the guise of spirituality is mainly religiosity based on the Old Testament. Jesus had taught his disciples to transcend the Old Testament and focus on the practice of love. That is why he gave only one commandment to his disciples, “Love one another as I have loved you”.  Any opportunity to practice love is an invitation to build the kingdom of God and experience the kingdom of God and we get plenty of such opportunities. Are we making use of them?


Fr. Jacob Peenickaparambil CMI

Homilies Navchetana Apps, the first of its kind is produced and published by Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India to assist the clergy to preach the World of God and also as a handy spiritual resource for the people of God to reflect on the daily spiritual passages at their convenience. You can download this on your Android phone from Google play and you can see the Gospel reflections of the whole year. The size of this app is just 2.5 MB. We welcome your suggestions and contributions to server you better.

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Fr. James M L CMI

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Homilies Navchetana is an initiative of Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India. We have been sending the Sunday and daily homilies last four years. We are grateful to you for your cooperation and encouraging comments. Navchetana is committed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through modern media and performing arts. Through our Web TV, audio and video productions and stage programmes we take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission.


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