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Today’s Reading: Luke 14:15-24
15 When one of those who sat at table with him heard this, he said to him, “Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!” 16 But he said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet, and invited many; 17 and at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, Come; for all is now ready.’ 18 But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it; please, have me excused.’ 19And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them; please, have me excused.’ 20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 So the servant came and reported this to his master. Then the householder in anger said to his servant, Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and maimed and blind and lame.’ 22And the servant said, Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ 23 And the master said to the servant, Go out to the highways and hedges, and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.'”
a great banquet: An image of the joys and blessings of the New Covenant. Israel was long invited to this feast by the prophets, yet many of the people declined when the Messiah announced the meal was ready. The Father therefore revised the guest list, summoning the despised of Israel (14:21) and the Gentiles (14:23, cf. Acts 13:46; 28:28) to enjoy the banquet in their place.
Festal meals had great religious significance in biblical times and often symbolized covenant communion with God or others (Gen 26:28-31; 31:44-54; Ex 24:9-11; 2 Sam 3:20-21). According to Is 25:6- 9, God was preparing a grand, messianic banquet to celebrate the salvation of all his children from Israel and the nations (13:29).
Jesus gives us the bread of the kingdom first in the Eucharist (22:19-20) and ultimately in the communion we will enjoy with him in heaven (Rev 19:9).