October 31, 2011
Monday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time
For God delivered all to disobedience, that he might have mercy upon all. Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How inscrutable are his judgments and how unsearchable his ways! Romans 11:32-33
"Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous." Luke 14:13-14
Sometimes, the readings are a little more difficult to interpret in the chill of the early morning hours. Today, in the epistle from St. Paul to the Romans, the line that struck me was, " For God delivered all to disobedience, that he might have mercy upon all." What? I thought God gave us free will in order to choose the right path? His path! Yet, if we did not act selfishly, out of disobedience to the commandments to be humble, to defer to the poor, the orphans and the widows, how else would we receive redemption? One the one hand, why would God want us to be disobedient? But in the next breath, the very next sentence, we learn the answer. Indeed, How inscrutable are his judgments and how unsearchable his ways!
If you hold an All Hallows Eve Party tonight, who will be your guest? Ghoulishly dressed friends? Devilish neighbors? Bewitching classmates? You can change the occasion, but the question remains, "Who will be your guest?" Who will be worthy to enter under your roof?
We do not have to take Luke Gospel of Jesus Christ too literally. The message is not only about parties (although as Abbot Oscar taught us, Christ did some of his best work at parties).
Who will get your smile while walking down the street? Who will get your gift of charity? Who will get those used clothes hanging in your closet, that you never wear anymore? The words from Hebrews 13:2 come to mind again today -- words that Beth reminded me of last weekend