There are two actions when responding to an invitation. We can either accept it or reject it. I realize that some people may say that there is also the “maybe” or “tentative” response. At the end, however, you either go or don’t go where you are invited.

In today’s Gospel (Luke 7:36, 8:3), Jesus accepts an invitation by a Pharisee to dine at his house. Doing so led a sinful woman to find him. Through their encounter we witness the power of repentance and forgiveness. The woman is so sorrowful that her tears wash Jesus’ feet.  Her pain becomes an invitation for our Lord to come into her life. Jesus accepts this invitation too and, thus, forgives her sins.

Another option we have when we receive an invitation is to reject it. In the Gospel of Mark, the encounter between Jesus and the rich man (Mark 10:17-31) illustrates this point. When Jesus invites the man to follow him, he rejects the invite. The man was too attached to his possessions to accept the invitation.

In our daily lives, we are constantly sending, accepting or rejecting invitations.  It is a way of controlling who becomes part of us. Who are you inviting, accepting or rejecting? What is your motivation in either case? Is God invited or rejected into your house? Are sinners welcome into or avoided in your life?

To know the answers to these questions, we must be intentional in our prayer. Our salvation depends on it because through our decisions sometimes we are like the Pharisee, the sinful woman, the rich man, and Christ. Which one are you?

His Invitation

Reading 1 1 SM 3:3B-10, 19
Responsorial Psalm PS 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10
Reading 2 1 COR 6:13C-15A, 17-20
Gospel JN 1:35-42

When the LORD revealed Himself to Samuel, He extended an invitation to all of us to hear His words. By answering “Speak, for your servant is listening” (1SM 3:10), Samuel accepted God’s will for us, to serve Him (cf. PS 40:8a-9a).

The invitation was extended and reaffirmed once more when His Son said to Andrew and John “Come, and you will see” (JN 1:39) and they announced to Peter “We have found the Messiah” (JN 1:41).

God wants to reveal Himself to us just as He did to Samuel and the first disciples. The extent of our participation, however, will be determined by how well we heed, pray and discern His calling and our willingness to seek spiritual direction (cf. 1SM 3:9, JN 1:35).

With His invitation, God asserts that our “bodies are members of Christ” (1 COR 6:15). By accepting his bid, we uphold God’s ownership of what His Son “purchased at a price”       (1 COR 6:20), the “temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God”            (1 COR 6:19).