On special occasions wherein we have parties at home, we invite great friends to celebrate with us to share our joy and happiness. We choose the food, clean and decorate the house, buy flowers and ensure we have drinks to share with them. However, when we get regrets and no’s to our invitation, we feel low and down. We are particularly sensitive because we expect them to share these happy moments with us.

Similarly, we can imagine how God must be feeling when people turn down His invitation to a life obedient to His will. It’s something to be grasped considering He is our Creator!

On the other hand, how delighted would He be if we overcome excuses for not coming? How often do we respond to God’s invitation to celebrate the triumph of His Son at the Holy Mass? A close friend-priest said, “If the Lord is happy to see us on compulsory Sunday, imagine how ecstatic would He be if we do it for love on a Monday or any ordinary day?” And even more if we overcome excuses for ignoring His invitation!

There are three elements in this week’s reflections of Fr. Armand’s homilies: Invitation, Gift, Dedication.

One of the interesting parables that Jesus told is the Parable of the Great Feast, where a man invited many guests. However, a lot of the invitees began to make excuses not to be able to attend. The owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant to bring the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame. Even with all the invited, there is still space for others in the banquet hall. The master told the servants to go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, “… so that my home may be filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited will taste my dinner.” (Lk. 14: 15 – 24)

Notice how sad this revelation is. If you refused His invitation, you will not be able to “taste His dinner”. The master’s invitation became an invitation to anyone, without payment in return. This invitation, like salvation, became an offering, a gift from the Lord. We should realize the value of God’s invitation. It is a rare, precious gift, one thatis given without anything in return. Just pure love from Him who created us.

Let’s accept this gift, as it brings us to eternal life. Acceptance of this gift makes us His children, heirs to Heaven. It’ll involve reciprocating His love by dedication and commitment to following Him and sharing it with others who need to feel His love.

People go through life driven with purpose. The champion weaves a tapestry of meaning every single day. Champions weave their dreams, but the dream is about others, and for others.

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