Tuesday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time
(Romans 12:5-16ab; Luke 14:15-24)
In Seven Habits for Highly Effective People management guru Stephen Covey sets keeping the end in mind as one of the highest priorities. Effective people know where they are going and organize their resources to get there. Jesus gives a similar rule of success in the gospel today.
The passage begins with a pious comment, “Blessed is the one who will dine in the kingdom of God.” A place at the table in God’s house is the goal of every Christian at least as a Christian. Unfortunately, she or he often lets other concerns obstruct the way to that table. Jesus tells a parable of people invited to a dinner party who allow business and family interests get in their way of accepting the invitation. Just as they lose their chance of enjoying the feast, those who put work or relatives ahead of doing God’s will are not to share in salvation.
Usually we have little trouble honoring God and attending to business. God often blesses those who abide by His will with success in their work and happiness in their homes. Still at times there may be a conflict of interests; for example, a man grapples with the option of padding his expense account to provide more income for his family and being strictly honest. This is really no dilemma for the one who has set his sights squarely on the Kingdom of God.