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Bringing the Kingdom to Earth

First Reading: Romans 12:5-16AB

Brothers and sisters:
We, though many, are one Body in Christ
and individually parts of one another.
Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us,
let us exercise them:
if prophecy, in proportion to the faith;
if ministry, in ministering;
if one is a teacher, in teaching;
if one exhorts, in exhortation;
if one contributes, in generosity;
if one is over others, with diligence;
if one does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.Let love be sincere;
hate what is evil,
hold on to what is good;
love one another with mutual affection;
anticipate one another in showing honor.
Do not grow slack in zeal,
be fervent in spirit,
serve the Lord.
Rejoice in hope,
endure in affliction,
persevere in prayer.
Contribute to the needs of the holy ones,
exercise hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you,
bless and do not curse them.
Rejoice with those who rejoice,
weep with those who weep.
Have the same regard for one another;
do not be haughty but associate with the lowly.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 131:1BCDE, 2, 3

R. In you, O Lord, I have found my peace.
O LORD, my heart is not proud,
nor are my eyes haughty;
I busy not myself with great things,
nor with things too sublime for me.
R. In you, O Lord, I have found my peace.
Nay rather, I have stilled and quieted
my soul like a weaned child.
Like a weaned child on its mother’s lap,
so is my soul within me.
R. In you, O Lord, I have found my peace.
O Israel, hope in the LORD,
both now and forever.
R. In you, O Lord, I have found my peace.

Gospel: Luke 14:15-24

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.

NAB

nov 3

Well, this is quite a jam-packed First Reading. Can you imagine if you were able to incorporate all of these facets into your life? We’d be quite God-like wouldn’t we? And isn’t that the goal? To be holy like the One who created us.

But, we are human, and we fail and we fall. That’s why we have the Sacrament of Confession, to receive forgiveness and a clean slate for our souls. However, just because we know that failure is a part of the human condition, it doesn’t mean we won’t strive to better ourselves and bring the Kingdom down here to earth so we can eventually be invited to the great dinner feast. We must create the Body of Christ right here on earth. And in the First Reading, we are given some amazing instructions on how to do this.

Use your God-given gifts to praise him.
Show genuine love for all of God’s creations—no matter how small.
If something is not of God, remove it from your life—speak out against it.
And keep God’s goodness present in your life.
Humans are God’s masterpieces; love them as such.
Show respect for all of humanity—even though we are all sinners.
Do not get lazy in faith; ask the Spirit to fill you.
Commit yourself to constant daily service.
Be glad that good will ultimately prevail.
But remember that until then, we must endure suffering.
Even in the face of adversity, pray.
Pray for vocations.
Open your home and share your blessings to all –
including those who offend you or hurt you.
Ask for God to be present in the lives of those overcome by evil.
Share in the human experience by emotionally connecting to people.
Never think of yourself as better than another.
And do not exclude one another based on perceived status.

Which of these can you do right now? Which can you do later this week? When can you do them all? Because isn’t that the goal? To be purified enough to secure a place in heaven? Let’s start that process here on earth.

What talents have you been given? Think of the first simple thing that pops in your head (typing, packing lunches, cutting coupons, etc). How can you use that gift to glorify God this week?

photo by Corynne Olivia

Jenna Hines has teeny army of three children and is married to a bearded fellow named Mike. A former high school English teacher, she now stays at home where she blogs and runs a crafty embroidery business. You can find out more about her here

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