Acts 15:22-31; Psalm 57; John 15:12-17
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Philippians 2:5-11; Psalm 22; Luke 14:15-24
The First Reading speaks of the total submission of Jesus to the Father. Although God, Jesus did not hold on to his divine nature. Instead, he emptied himself and took the form of a slave, becoming man and humbled himself and became obedient to the point of dying on a cross. Because of his total surrender to the Father, God exalted him over all creation. Jesus showed God exalts the one who submits to him. This submission is seen in obedience to his will, in the case of Jesus, even death on the cross. Trust in the Father is seen in obedience to him. For those who obey God, they will enjoy what God has planned.
The parable in the Gospel today shows us what God has planned for us. He wants us to enjoy what he has prepared. He sent his slave to call those who were invited to come and have dinner. But those who were called had reasons and did not come. In anger, the owner said this: Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.
The slave went out and told the lord this has been done and there still more room. The master said: Go out into the roads and lanes and compel people to come in, so that my house may be filled.
The master tells the slave to compel, or force people to come. God desperately wants us to live with him and he accepts us as we are: poor, crippled, blind and lame. We are sinners and God accepts us as we are. The question then is: am I willing to accept God’s invitation to come to him? Am I willing to come as I am to God and let him do what he wants to me when I obey him. This life God has planned will be full of suffering. But one thing is guaranteed, when we obey and submit to God, he will give us what he has planned for us. What has he planned for us? Look at what he did to Jesus.
Jesus humbled himself and obeyed God, so now, he is exalted in heaven above all creation. When we obey God, we will also share in this victory of Jesus.
St Martin de Porres is someone who dedicated his life in obedience to God. He was an illegitimate child of a Spanish nobleman and freed slave of African and Peruvian descent. His father abandoned him so his mother had to raise them in poverty. When she could not support her children, she sent him to a primary school and placed him with a barber/surgeon. At that time, Peruvian law prohibited those with African and native descent from becoming full members of religious orders. Martin entered the Dominicans as a volunteer and practiced barbering and surgery.
He was assigned to the infirmary and remained there until his death. He cared for the sick and is known for his miracles and care for the sick. This dedication to service was grounded on his love for the Eucharist. This allowed him to surrender himself to allow God to fulfill what he has planned for St Martin.
Lord, may I surrender myself fully to you and obey you in all you say. Receive me, poor, weak, lame, blind. Transform me so I can live the life you have planned for me.