Scripture: 1st Reading: Rom12,5-16; Resp. Psalm: Ps131,1-3; Gosp. Accl.: Mt11,28; Gospel: Lk14,15-24
Who is the most qualified for the kingdom? Who is the most talented for the kingdom? Whose gifts and endowments are the best? Who has the best intelligence, beauty, endowments that qualify for the kingdom? What gifts quickly qualify one for advancement and entrance into the kingdom? In the Church here on earth, whose gifts are more superior and of greater quality?
These questions come to mind especially when one judges the things of the kingdom by the standards of this world. The word of God tells us a completely different thing and gives us a different paradigm. For the word, no one is useless in the kingdom. No one is valueless in the Church. Services are never to be measured by how much money one contributes but by how much of one's life that is put into the service of the Living God.
The word describes believers as forming one body. This body has different parts or members. Every member of the body is useful. Every gift of every member is important for the growth of the entire body. Every gift is to be used for the advancement of the reign of Christ: prophecy, service, teaching, exhortation, liberal contribution, aid with zeal, acts of mercy with cheerfulness. The guiding principle here is that everything must be done from a genuine heart.
The word challenges that believers must attend all times love genuinely, hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good, love one another with brotherly affection, outdo one another in showing honour, never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord; rejoice in our hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer; contribute to the needs of the saints, practise hospitality.
The word also recommends strongly today that we bless those who persecute us, rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep, live in harmony with one another. When a believer makes every conscious effort to put this into practise, he is already on the road that leads to the kingdom. That believer will be the one who is replicating in his life the teachings of our Lord in today's gospel. Such believer will be one who accepts and is grateful for the invitation to the free banquet that the Master has prepared.
We are useful for the kingdom in whatever state of life we are. We are called to use our talents for the advancement of the kingdom. No one's talent is better or greater than the other. No one's gift is inferior to that of another person. Our gifts together form a rainbow of colours that give beauty to the Church of God.
Our responsibility is to judiciously use our talents for the sake of the kingdom. When we do that, our lives, demonstrate that we have accepted the Master's invitation to the banquet of eternal life that He has prepared for us by His passion, death, Resurrection and Ascension into glory.
Let us pray: "O God our Father, in your great bounty, you have prepared for us the banquet of eternal life. We thank you for your precious gift and ask that you grant us the grace to use our entire lives as one great preparation for the encounter with you in the kingdom. Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.