Reflection for Thursday, August 20, 2020: 20th week in Ordinary Time.
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"The road to hell is paved with good intentions."|―St. Bernard I thought it was appropriate to open today's reflection with this quote attributed to St. Bernard since today is his memorial, but also because it really captures the essence of what Jesus was trying to tell us in today's gospel.|God is calling us to the banquet; we have a place there. The invitation is wide open. The challenge is in how we receive it. Are we all in or is our commitment superficial? God doesn't want us to come to the table only when it works in our schedules. He wants us seated with him all the time. God is wanting us to act, even when it isn't convenient and this is the hard part (at least for me). God desires this for us because of the transformative power his love brings to our lives when we are fully committed. Think about the limitations of an athlete who only shows up for games, but doesn't commit to work outs or good nutrition. Our rewards in this life and the next are just as diminished when we don't wholeheartedly accept God's invitation.|Accepting this invite requires more than checking the yes box on the RSVP. A deeper level of commitment is required. Like the invitees in today's gospel, it isn't always bad things that distract us, many times it is the routine demands of daily life. We have to work, take care of children, take care of parents, pay bills, clean the house, the list can be endless, never finding time to "pencil in" prayer. We can also find ourselves saying things like, "We will go to church once the kids are older and can behave," or "I will speak up against that injustice once I finish my project at work." What Jesus is asking us to do in today's gospel is to put God on the top of the list. Jesus is imploring us to quit reserving our discipleship to those moments when we have enough time or when it is easy (again as St. Bernard said, "hell is full of good wishes and desires"). We are being called to the table, not to just sit, but to embrace the companionship and love that is found there. Let us pray today that God will help us welcome this most generous invitation to love and serve.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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