I like helping others, BUT I am too busy. I want to spend more time with the people I care about, BUT I have no free time. Our ‘buts’ and our excuses cripple our ability to love, to be generous and generative. They prevent us from following Jesus.

The parable in today’s Gospel tells us what we already know: invited to collaborate with Jesus in his liberating and redeeming mission, we often make excuses for not doing so. It’s time-consuming, too difficult, too demanding, etc. Yet, Jesus reminds us that we have a choice in joining him at the banquet table. And Jesus points out that this banquet table, his image for the kingdom of God, includes everyone, especially the marginalized and outcast in our world.

Do I make excuses for not following Jesus like the new landowner and new spouse in the parable? How is God inviting me to widen the banquet table, to build God’s kingdom here and now to include everyone, especially the poor and marginalized?

—Matt Ippel, SJ, is a Jesuit scholastic in the Midwest Province studying philosophy at the Universidad Antonio Ruiz de Montoya in Lima, Peru.








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