Daily Gospel Reflection – Tuesday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Bishop Robert Barron
November 7, 2023
Tuesday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Lk 14:15-24
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.'
*United States Conference of Catholic
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus tells the parable of a man giving a great dinner. His sending out of servants to gather those invited parallels our call to be evangelizers.
The risen Lord calls the Apostles and us to go forth and to do the work of gathering in: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations”—that is, draw them into the very dynamics of the divine life.
Hans Urs von Balthasar has noticed that, in the biblical context, mission and identity are tightly bound together. The heroes of Scripture don’t really know who they are until they have received a commission from God. Thus Saul of Tarsus, when he is radically reoriented as the Apostle to the Gentiles, is given the name “Paul.” Being sent, he knows who he is.
Paul is not pursuing his own happiness; rather, he is like a letter, written and posted by another. Announcing the risen Jesus is the beginning, middle, and end of Paul’s life, his raison d’etre, his morning refreshment and evening rest. Like his great biblical forebears and like his descendants in the Christian tradition, Paul is a messenger. Nothing more or less.