November 5, 2019
by Luis Rodriguez, S.J.
Creighton University's Jesuit Community
click here for photo and information about the writer

Tuesday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 486

Romans 12:5-16AB
Psalms 131:1BCDE, 2, 3
Luke 14:15-24

Praying Ordinary Time

I find today’s first reading consoling in more than one way. The first way is the recognition of the marvelous variety and richness of gifts in the Church. I am grateful that others have gifts that I myself do not have, for instance, the gift of music. When I listen to something like Händel’s Messiah, I am truly amazed at how a human mind can create such harmonious combination of instruments and voices. I do enjoy music, especially classical music, but I cannot produce music. I do not have that one gift, but I am not jealous of those who have it. Rather I am grateful that others do.

Another way I find this reading consoling is because it gives me a lot of freedom: I do not have to be gifted for everything. Others are gifted to do some of the things I cannot do. Without this kind of freedom one might try to be an expert at everything and become frustrated by negative results. Also, one might see others as competitors, instead of being grateful for their gifts, which I do not have to have.

Among the several points of reflection offered by the gospel reading, I wonder how the members of the rich host’s household might have reacted, when they saw the large room filled with strangers not of the same social class. It was someone else’s invitation, not their own. They were challenged to be hosts to them “after the fact.” We may not have invited into our lives everyone we come in contact with, but we too are challenged to welcome them “after the fact.”

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