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Bible reflection: A great feast is prepared

James O'Brien  |  30 October 2019

Each week we consider a reading from the weekday masses. In this week’s Bible reflection we consider the meaning behind Luke’s Gospel on the Great Feast.

Gospel reading for Tuesday, 5 November 2019
Luke 14:15-24
‘Not one of those who were invited shall have a taste of my banquet’

One of those gathered round the table said to Jesus, ‘Happy the man who will be at the feast in the kingdom of God!’ But he said to him, ‘There was a man who gave a great banquet, and he invited a large number of people. When the time for the banquet came, he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, “Come along: everything is ready now.” But all alike started to make excuses. The first said, “I have bought a piece of land and must go and see it. Please accept my apologies.” Another said, “I have bought five yoke of oxen and am on my way to try them out. Please accept my apologies.” Yet another said, “I have just got married and so am unable to come.”

‘The servant returned and reported this to his master. Then the householder, in a rage, said to his servant, “Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in here the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.” “Sir” said the servant “your orders have been carried out and there is still room.” Then the master said to his servant, “Go to the open roads and the hedgerows and force people to come in to make sure my house is full; because, I tell you, not one of those who were invited shall have a taste of my banquet.”’


  • What is the significance of the invitation to the great feast? What is the meaning of rejecting this invitation?
  • How does this passage invite us to new forms of reconciliation and justice?
  • If the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame are to be invited … what does this say about how we are meant to practise hospitality?
  • What does the desire of the host to fill his house with people say about how God desires to welcome us into the Kingdom?
  • Where do you experience God’s kingdom most clearly in your own life?

Reflection from

Romans 13:8-10. Psalm 111(112):2, 4-5, 9. Luke 14:15-24
Happy the merciful who give to those in need – Psalm 111(112):2, 4-5, 9
‘Go to the open roads and the hedgerows’

When I read the parable of the Great Feast, I have to ask myself, am I one of the invited guests who refused the invitation to the feast or am I the poor, the lame, the crippled and the blind who would be over the moon to receive such an invitation? Or am I the host? Every scenario to me, offers an invitation of discomfort and that of self-reflection. If I am the host, there’s the initial sense of rejection and embarrassment of no-one accepting my generous invitation, but how comfortable will I be with these strangers who I may not relate to? If I am the person from the streets and alleys, am I worthy to accept this offer, or do I just feel second best? And if I am the invitee who declined the invitation and then realised everyone else had also, there is a shame to be felt about that. All of my initial responses are about me and my immediate feelings. But if we put our feelings aside and put the others first, ‘how happy are those who will sit down at the feast in the Kingdom of God!’


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