Prior to today’s passage, Luke presents Jesus’ parables on the conduct of how to behave as the invited guest of the host. Jesus reminds us to always take the lowest seat, so that we remain humble, avoid embarrassment, and allow the host to invite us to a place of honor (Luke 14:7-14). Afterwards, he speaks of how we must not keep the host waiting. Once he summons, we must go! Don’t make excuses to why you are not able to attend the feast (Luke 14:15-24)!
At the heart of Christian discipleship is communion with God. He invites us to dine with him, to celebrate with him, to be co-creators with him in creation. Living the Catholic life is like enjoying a party …. all the time: the lowly are lifted, the meek are exalted, the poor have a place of great honor. This feast is so monumental, that we cannot keep the master waiting. When he calls, we must go!
Keeping this in mind, we must also consider that at the very heart of Christian discipleship is the cross. To be Christian is not like signing up for a newsletter online, downloading an app, or setting automatic payments for online bills. While entry to the Christian life is hidden and revealed in the waters of baptism, living a Christian life is about imitating Christ in the manner in which he lived.
We don’t copy Christ making us imposters. We are imitators. We love what he loved, in the manner in which he loved. Jesus cared for the poor, comforted the dying, lived mercifully towards others. So if we wish to imitate him, we must pick up our cross and follow. Following without excuse demands a serious life of prayer, a life lived in the sacraments, a life of pursuing Christ in the Chruch where he is found!
I often hear people say that they leave Church because they are not being fed! I find this to be a ridiculous statement for if they were not being fed by the rich traditions of the Church, the unfathomable meaning of the scriptures proclaimed in Holy Mother Church … then perhaps the food they were seeking was not nutritious in the first place. Seek milk and honey from Mother Church and not the stuff one finds at fast food religion.
Today, Christ says we need a foundation in order to build (Luke 14:28-29). That foundation is a life lived in carrying the cross, following after him. After all, it leads to greater humility and ultimately the Resurrection! Let us be on our way.