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  • Writer's pictureChristopher Looby

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2023

We all know what it's like to receive an invitation to a wedding or social event and you have to fill out that RSVP card with checkboxes for 'attending,' 'regrets,' and sometimes even a 'plus one'?

These seemingly straightforward options can carry profound implications—especially when that invitation comes from God Himself, inviting us into a lasting relationship with Him.

You might check 'regrets' for a variety of reasons—maybe a schedule conflict or a lack of interest. Yet, in the grand scheme of God’s eternal banquet, clicking that box means turning away from endless joy and love, from a place where all are welcome and celebrated.

Now, what happens when we choose 'attending'? This isn't just a casual commitment; it's a sacred covenant. Saying, "Yes, Lord, I'll be there," also means, "I'll come prepared."

We won't be dressed in beautiful gowns or handsome tuxedos but in garments sewn from faith, good deeds, and genuine love for our neighbor.

And let's not forget the 'plus one' option, which elevates us from mere guests to co-hosts. This isn't just about bringing someone along; it's about extending God's invitation through us. We become conduits of His boundless love, extending His call to those who may not yet have heard it.

So I ask you to reflect on your own spiritual RSVP this week. Are you checking 'regrets,' missing out on God's banquet?

Or, are you 'attending,' committed and prepared?

And, who is your ‘plus one’? Who are you going to invite to go with you to the party and share God's boundless love and joy?

We cannot forget that the checkboxes on our spiritual RSVPs have a wider impact than just our personal lives. At a time when rockets are firing over Gaza and Israel, when people are living in fear and uncertainty, we are reminded that God's banquet hall is meant to be filled with all of His children—no matter their nationality, race, or religion.

It is not an easy task to check 'attending with a plus one' when that plus one might be someone we disagree with, someone we fear, or someone society tells us we should avoid. Yet, extending the invitation to such individuals is exactly what God calls us to do. The command to love our neighbors has no boundaries; it is as expansive as God’s own boundless love.

God's banquet hall is expansive, the table overflowing with blessings. But the chairs remain empty until we choose to fill them. God wants a full house; He’s extended the invitation.

The question is, how will you respond?

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