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A Gracious Invitation

What a heartbreak to witness the scenes in Gaza and Israel in recent times and sadly, ongoing.

When I visited the Holy Land in 2016, I visited an Australian De La Salle brother I had worked with in Mangere, South Auckland. He along with Br Peter Bray (Kiwi) are working at the Bethlehem university with young Palestinians. It was lovely to meet them all and for them to share their stories. Bethlehem is inside the occupied territories of the West Bank. Br Mark who has returned to Bethlehem this year in a recent email to me said that things are locked down for them at present. No one can leave Bethlehem and others cannot enter. They are doing what they can to stand with the people. Please remember then all in your prayers.

Our Gospel today is taken from Matthew 22:1-14. After so many had rejected the wedding feast invitation, the King asks his servants to go out and to invite everyone they can to the wedding.

In the light of the tragic events in the Holy Land, that invitation is what we can reflect on today. Christ invites us to live the way he lived. His way of life and example enabled the 'Kingdom of God' to break through into our world. He invites us to live that same way. To join him at the Wedding Feast that has the possibility of being lived here and now. His gracious and magnanimous invitation is responded to when we live justly and choose peaceful solutions rather than violent ones.

You may wish to listen to 'Hands Across the World'. from the album, 'A Place at the Table'. I sang this song with the young Palestinians when I was in Bethlehem.

Blessings on your week.

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