Scripture: 1st Reading: Rom11,29-36; Resp. Psalm: Ps69,30-37; Gosp. Accl.: Jn8,31-32; Gospel: Lk14,12-14
Our entire humanity was involved in the collective disobedience, Jews as well as gentiles. Our entire humanity was unfaithful to God. In the fullness of time, God sent His Son to take away the sins of the world and bring about humanity's salvation and reconciliation to Him. The chosen people rejected the Messiah that Yahweh sent to them. The word of God today interpreted that as disobedience.
God, who is love personified and infinite in mercy, who gave the gift of the covenant and who called the chosen people, made it in such a way that both gift and call are irrevocable. The disobedience did not cancel the gift and the call. This is because the gift was totally unmerited. The call was a privilege that was not worked for or achieved through personal efforts.
This disobedience of the first chosen people, however, became the grounds for the blessing of the rest of humanity. The word teaches that the disobedience of the chosen people led to the manifestation of mercy towards the gentiles, that is, the rest of humanity outside the first promise. This is to express the inexhaustible depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God, whose mind no one can know and for whom no one can be a counsellor.
It is to bring and reveal to humanity the unsearchable nature of God's judgments and the inscrutable character of His ways. God owes no one any debt. His gifts and call are free and gratuitous. As Creator, Sustainer and the end of the entire universe, our entire creation depends on Him.
The mystery of the gratuitous and unmerited nature of God's gifts is the contrary of what many of us engage in in our daily lives. We give gifts in respect of a recompense, a reward, a return of the favour we do. Our Lord cautioned against this in today's gospel passage. He told us categorically that when we give dinner or banquet, we should not invite our friends or brothers or kinsmen or neighbours, who would feel obliged to repay us back for the favours we have done to them. In this way, we would have received our reward from men.
Our Lord rather taught us that we should give our gifts to those who have no way of repaying us back: the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. Our blessing here consists of the fact that they cannot repay us back. Our blessing consists of the fact that we would be repaid at the resurrection of the just. The word therefore challenges us today to do good. It challenges us to show kindness because to be good forms part of our vocation.
Let us pray: O God, our heavenly Father, we praise and thank you for your gifts and your call to us, which we did not merit since we were still sinners when you gave them to us. Give us your grace to appreciate and cherish these wonderful ways you have privileged us. Make us worthy of your love, compassion and mercy. Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.