The Great Supper
As he sat with his disciples at mealtime, Jesus told the story of a man who put on a dinner party but could not find people to share it with him (see Luke 14:15–24). Everyone he invited to the dinner started making excuses, and when none on his guest list accepted, he told his servant, “Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.” This done, the servant said there was still room and food for more, so the host told him to go out in the street and “compel” anyone who would join them to come and fill the house. And those on the guest list who had refused to come would not be allowed to partake of his feast, he said.
This parable shows how God invites everyone to his house, but only those poor enough in spirit to realize they need his generosity will receive it and, as a result, only they will be awarded a place at his banquet. Nothing takes precedence over an invitation from the Lord, though it is human nature to say, when distracted by the busyness of every day, “Please excuse me this time.”