Gospel: Lk 14:15-24
Upon hearing these words, one of those at the table said to Jesus, “Happy are those who eat at the banquet in the kingdom of God!“
Jesus replied, “A man once gave a feast and invited many guests. When it was time for the feast, he sent his servant to tell those he had invited to come, for everything was ready. But all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘Please excuse me. I must go and see the piece of land I have just bought.‘ Another said: ‘I am sorry, but I am on my way to try out the five yoke of oxen I have just bought.‘ Still another said, ‘How can I come, when I‘ve just got married?‘
The servant returned alone, and reported this to his master. Upon hearing his account, the master of the house flew into a rage, and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly, into the streets and alleys of the town, and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.‘
The servant reported after a while, ‘Sir, your orders have been carried out, but there is still room.‘ The master said, ‘Go out to the highways and country lanes, and force people to come in, to ensure that my house is full. I tell you, none of those invited will have a morsel of my feast.“
Baptism is the sacrament of initiation. The officiating priest address the candidate: “My dear child, the Christian community welcomes you with great joy. In its name I claim you for our Christ our Savior by the sign of the Cross.“ The baptized becomes a member of the Church, the BODY of CHRIST as St. Paul explains in our first reading.
The preface of the wedding mass has this; “You have designed the chaste love of husband and wife for the increase both of the human family and your family born in baptism. Nature‘s gift of children enriches the world and your grace enriches also your church.“ It is God‘s plan to fill up His Kingdom, fully and no space vacant. He invites everyone to be in His house, He has prepared from the beginning..
St. Paul speaks of the responsibility of all the members of the Church. “You are Christ‘s Body and individually parts of it“ (1 Cor. 12:28). Bishop David exhorted: “We are called–each one of us, members of His Body, the Church-to witness to Christ risen and alive in us. Our call is not just to speak about Christ, but rather TO BE CHRIST to the world.“