November 7, 2017
Tuesday of the 31st Week in Ordinary Time
The Gospel Today
One of those at table with Jesus said to him,
“Blessed is the one who will dine in the Kingdom of God.”
He replied to him,
“A man gave a great dinner to which he invited many.
When the time for the dinner came,
he dispatched his servant to say to those invited,
‘Come, everything is now ready.’
But one by one, they all began to excuse themselves.
The first said to him,
‘I have purchased a field and must go to examine it;
I ask you, consider me excused.’
And another said, ‘I have purchased five yoke of oxen
and am on my way to evaluate them;
I ask you, consider me excused.’
And another said, ‘I have just married a woman,
and therefore I cannot come.’
The servant went and reported this to his master.
Then the master of the house in a rage commanded his servant,
‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town
and bring in here the poor and the crippled,
the blind and the lame.’
The servant reported, ‘Sir, your orders have been carried out
and still there is room.’
The master then ordered the servant,
‘Go out to the highways and hedgerows
and make people come in that my home may be filled.
For, I tell you, none of those men who were invited will taste my dinner.'”
Reflection (Sem. John Paul S. Adia)
Some principles that St. Ignatius of Loyola gave through his spiritual exercises are dynamic indifference, agere contra and magis. Dynamic indifference is freedom from anything that you may be attached to. You have these things outside or within yourself but they are not controlling you as a person. A good example is our family. We have them and they are naturally important in our lives. But there will come a time that they may hinder our response to God’s will. That is the purpose why we have dynamic indifference. Agere contra, on the other hand, is going against things that will prevent us from living out what a greater mean should be or what will keep us within the balance. Example is food. It is important in our lives, but too much may lead us to gluttony, and less will lead us to undernourishment. But we aim to have an attitude of magis towards things – what can give more glory to God in my choices.
Today’s Gospel shows that man will find it difficult to respond to God’s invitation if he has a lot of excuses. These excuses are his attachments. We may say that these are not bad in themselves but God remains far more important than them. To be detached from them is to be free. This freedom is moved by our love for God. Therefore, we can use these things to do acts of mercy towards others. We can also live out a life of service. This is the life that Jesus has shown to us, selfless and self-giving. Because his focus is not what can bring him glory but rather what is the will of the Father.
There will be instances in our lives that we will say “I love you God… but…” There will conditions that we would like to favor us and we would want to be in our comfort zones. It would be easier to respond to God when we are living a free life. This freedom is not the same with what the secular world is dictating. It is not a license to do anything you want. It is true freedom when you are able to do what you ought to do. This will be the great challenge and invitation to us; to think on how free we are in responding to God’s invitation, to be with Him and to do His will.