Our Gospel today is filled with invitations. The 1st group invited to the
great dinner, represented the leaders of Israel who were unwilling to
accept Jesus. The 2nd group represents other Jews from within Israel,
“the poor and the crippled, the blind and the lame”. The 3rd group
represent us, the Gentiles from outside Israel, who are invited through
the mission of the Church.
This parable may challenge us to reflect on the spiritual invitations we
have received in our lives and how we respond. Unfortunately, spiritual
invitations don’t always come in fancy envelopes. Sometimes God
sends a Divine invitation disguised as a hardship or a personal tragedy.
These can be the toughest to accept but may do the most to grow our
Our Saint today can provide some inspiration in this area. Saint Martin
de Porres was born in Lima, Peru in 1579. He was the illegitimate son
of a Spanish gentleman and a freed slave from Panama. Martin’s father
abandoned them when he was young, and his family grew up in poverty
made more difficult by his mixed race.
When Martin was 15, he volunteered to work at the Dominican Convent
as a servant boy. At that time, a person could not become a full
member of a religious order if they had an African or Native American
ancestry. Many of his nights were spent in prayer and penitential
practices; his days were filled with nursing the sick and caring for the
poor. Martin’s great faith was blessed with extraordinary spiritual gifts
including ecstasies that lifted him into the air, light filling the room where
he prayed, bi-location and curing the sick. St. Martin was able to
overcome his hardships by accepting an invitation to lead a life devoted
As we reflect on the invitations we have been given, let us ask for the
intercession of St. Martin de Porres to help discern how to RSVP.
-Deacon Steve Whiteman