God’s Invitation

Luke 5: 27-32
Is 58: 9b-14/ Ps 86: 1-6

It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
(Luke 5:32)

Don’t hesitate when you invite
Friends to the Lord’s celebration;
You’ve been chosen for God’s delight
To extend His invitation.

Jesus went out and saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at his tax booth. He said to him, “Follow me,” and Levi got up, left everything and followed Him. Later, Levi gave a great feast at his house for Jesus, and many tax collectors and other people came to dine at their table. But the Pharisees and their scribes complained to His disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:27-32)

Reflection

The powerful call of Jesus so mesmerized Levi that he left everything to follow Him. He prepared a big party at his house because he wanted to give witness to all and sundry about his newfound life, and perhaps even influence his friends to encounter the same experience. The only fly in the ointment was the presence of the Pharisees and their scribes who murmured against his guests, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” How meaningful are the words of Jesus when He said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the ‘righteous’ (the Pharisees), but sinners to repentance.”

I’ve read or heard it said once that the two most effective tools of evangelization are a fork and a pen. The fork for breaking bread with your friend whom you would like to meet Jesus, and the pen (or email or SMS) for writing and spreading God’s Word. The image of a banquet or Jesus eating in the company of friends or followers is a very common scene in the Gospel narratives, and is even used by our Lord in many of His parables. An old saw, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” can probably also apply here. In fact, throughout the generations of man, in almost all cultures, issues are resolved, contracts are signed, partnerships are sealed, and many are converted on the dining table. It is no coincidence that the Holy Mass is about a supper. Our Lord certainly enjoyed being invited to all of those banquets.

Today (every Saturday) is a special day for every BCBP member, because it is the day when our brotherhood gets together for a fellowship breakfast. It is always a special breakfast for us, because it is the entry point for our guests to become acquainted with the BCBP, and hopefully encounter a more intimate fellowship with our Lord. We invite businessmen or professionals, doctors or tax collectors, and in many cases (like St. Matthew) the unlikeliest of guests turn out to be the committed evangelists. During our breakfast fellowship today, we will hear a brother share how Jesus came into his life and told him to “Come, follow me.”

Lord Jesus, make us ambassadors of your love by inviting those whose hearts are hungry for Your Word to Your dining table. Fill them with your Divine Presence, Lord, and nourish them with Your Word, as You have done in our lives. Amen.

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