Read Romans 11:29-36, Ps. 69:30-31,33-34,36-37, Luke 14:12-14

“But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed because they cannot repay you.” (Luke 14:13-14)

A few days ago, we read how Jesus was invited to dine in the home of a Pharisee, and they were watching him. Jesus did three things in that dinner party: He healed a man with dropsy. He taught a great lesson on the importance of humility, and He taught the need to invite the poor to feasts rather than rich neighbours or friends.

In this part of the world, the success of an event is judged by the calibre of people who attend it, the number of cars parked at the event centre, the amount of dollars splashed on the floor and the quality of the souvenir. In a country where many barely manage to feed once daily, there is no weekend devoid of such lavish parties. Some go into debt to host such parties to impress their friends.

Instead of competing with one another, Jesus is asking us today to consider the poor. Come to think of it; your rich friends do not need the food; they have more than enough, but some people cannot afford one good meal a day – these are the people we should invite to our parties. Go to an orphanage, visit a ward in a hospital, gather the hungry children in the street and give them something to eat.

Why did Jesus insist we should invite the poor? They cannot repay us. If we invite our friends and relatives to our parties, they will pay us back by either giving us money or inviting us to their parties. Jesus wants us to invite those who cannot pay us back so that our reward will come from God. “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me.”

When we feed the hungry, we store treasures for ourselves in heaven – a place where moth and rust cannot destroy. This is what Jesus told the rich young man who wanted to inherit eternal life. (Matthew 19:21, Mark 10:21, Luke 18:22). When we give to the poor, we are doing to others what God has done to us. St. Paul tells us in our first reading that we have benefited immensely from the mercy of God. Freely we have received. Freely, we must give.

_Saint of the Day:_ Today, we remember Saint Leonard of Noblac. He lived a life of austerity, sanctification and preaching. He formed a monastery in a forest around his hermitage. He had great compassion for prisoners and obtained the release of many.

Let us pray: Almighty, ever-living God, give me a heart that considers the poor. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Monday of week 31 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Romans 11:29-36, Ps. 69:30-31,33-34,36-37, Luke 14:12-14).

@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu