The Gospel of Luke contains many parables. The parable of the great banquet is part of the parables of Jesus only reported by saint Luke. Others include the two debtors, the good Samaritan, the rich man, the sterile fig tree, and Lazarus and the rich man. Now discover the parable of the great banquet, taken by Jesus as a model to describe the great feast of the Kingdom of Heaven to which the Heavenly Father invites all men.
When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, ‘Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.’ Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’ Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’ The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’ ‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’ Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.”
On several occasions, Jesus compares eternal life to weddings, banquets, the Wedding of the Lamb (Revelations 19, 7-10). Here, Jesus uses the comparison to a great banquet to represent the eternal banquet in the Kingdom of Heaven. God the Father prepares a great feast for his beloved children, all people. When everything is ready, he sends for the guests who all decline the invitation, citing unconvincing excuses. The Lord then turns to the neglected in society, taking them all to the feast. Jesus always addresses the poor, the abandoned, the excluded and the sick as a matter of priority. This parable shows us that the latter will be the first in the Kingdom of Heaven where their pains will be soothed. As there is still room at the feast, the servant must bring in all those who come first, by force if necessary. It is the sign of the mercy of the Father who seeks only to save and wishes to reunite all his children with Him in His Kingdom. This parable can be applied in two ways. As a guest, you must know how to say yes to God’s invitation. In the position of the servant, one must proclaim the Good News to all, starting with the most abandoned.
The Lord calls everyone to participate in the great feast he has prepared: eternal bliss in the Kingdom of Heaven. Everyone must welcome this invitation by turning to the Lord. With Hozana, answer “yes” to the Father’s loving call!