THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON EVANGELIZATION AND MISSION
THE GREAT FEAST
Today’s gospel: Luke 14:15-24
What is the purpose of our work of evangelization and mission?
It is for people to hear the gospel and thus meet and know
Christ, thence to live Christ and share Christ. This is the
way to salvation, which Jesus won on the cross for us. To
love and serve God is the way to heaven, which is the ultimate
blessing. “Blessed is the one who will dine in the kingdom
of God.” (Lk 14:15). How can this happen? Jesus gave
the parable of the great feast.
are basic realities about God and salvation?
God wants many if not all to be saved. “A man gave
a great dinner to which he invited many.” (Lk 14:16).
desire for people to be saved is intense. After all, God
did give up His very own Son to win for us our salvation.
Thus, informed that those invited had excuses for not going
to the banquet, “the master of the house in a rage
commanded his servant” (Lk 14:21a) to gather others.
wants to His home filled. “The master then ordered
the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedgerows
and make people come in that my home may be filled.”
Now God is determined that people be saved. That after all
is what salvation in Jesus is all about. Notice the progression
how the master invited people. First, “he dispatched
his servant” with a simple invitation: “Come,
everything is now ready.” (Lk 14:17). Second, he “commanded
his servant” to “bring in” the people (Lk
14:21b). Finally, “the master then ordered the servant”
to “make people come in” (Lk 14:23a). Why? God
wants “that my home may be filled.” (Lk 14:23b).
much as God is dying (pun intended) to save us and to bring
us to heaven, He does not force us. He issues the invitation,
He sends out His servant, He goes to extremes to have them
go to the banquet, but at the end of the day, it depends on
us, it is our decision. Not counting those who have succumbed
to the world, the flesh or the devil, many have very good
excuses for not going. The best excuses are livelihood and
family (does that hit close to home?). One “just purchased
a field and must go to examine it” (Lk 14:18b). Another
“purchased five yoke of oxen and am on my way to evaluate
them” (Lk 14:19a). Well, if one purchases something,
one should make sure that that something is there, and with
the right value paid for. Another “just married a woman,
and therefore I cannot come.” (Lk 14:20). It would not
be right to leave your bride at the altar or to forego the
God unreasonable? This of course is a parable, and God is
not against prudence in business or investments, or giving
priority to marriage and family. But precisely, that Jesus
used those things most important to us--family and livelihood--shows
that the invitation to the Kingdom is the greatest of all.
It is not a question of choosing between sin or God. That
is elementary. It is a question of choosing between the good
and the best. It is an instance of recognizing the greater,
nay the greatest, priority. Do you understand now why Jesus
says you must hate your closest relatives to be worthy
to be his disciple?
persists and insists on bringing us to heaven. It is only
we who stand in the way. We come up with excuses not to accept
God’s invitation. “But one by one, they all began
to excuse themselves.” (Lk 14:18a). And notice that
those invited, knowing they had legitimate excuses, did not
ask, “May I be excused?” They simple excused themselves!
“I ask you, consider me excused.” (Lk 14:18c,19b).
Their asking was a statement of a decision already made.
we decide to forgo a household meeting or a community activity
or service or giving money to the community because we have
something to do with the family or to attend to our business,
do we actually seek God’s will, starting off with giving
Him the priority, and then trying to “argue” from
that point why we should be excused? Or do we just decide
to excuse ourselves, simply because we believe we have a good
Now there are three personages in this parable: the master,
the servant, and those invited. Let us look at the servant.
It is he who is sent by the master to invite or to gather
people. That is now we, not as those invited (we already accepted)
but as those who are the servants, that is, the evangelizers.
In our work of evangelization, in the call for each CFC-FFL
member to become an evangelizer, we must know some important
as the Master sends us, do we go? The final marching order
was given by Jesus before he ascended into heaven. God is
entrusting the continuation of His divine work to us. God
rarely intervenes directly in converting someone, just as
He did with Saul, but rather, God works through us. God has
made Himself and the outcome of His plan dependent on His
people. Are we too busy with family and livelihood to respond?
Are the very blessings of God what are preventing us from
do we report to the Master (Lk 14:21a,22a)? When we seem to
fail in our evangelization, when our evangelization stalls
and those invited do not respond, do we bring the matter to
Jesus, and pray intently that he show us the way, that he
give us further instructions?
do we look to rapid and massive evangelization? The master
told his servant, “Go out quickly into the streets and
alleys of the town” (Lk 14:21c). “Go out to the
highways and hedgerows” (Lk 14:23a). Knowing our marching
orders, are we responding quickly, rapidly? Are we combing
every nook and cranny in every neighborhood, in every town,
in every province, in every nation?
do we recognize the urgency of and great need for our mission.
“Go out quickly .... and bring in here the poor and
the crippled, the blind and the lame.” (Lk 14:21c).
People without or lacking God are the poorest. Such people
are crippled, moving along with earthly crutches when they
could be leaping with joy. Such people are blind, not appreciating
the sacrifice of Jesus, not seeing the beauty of God and His
Kingdom in heaven. Such people are lame, unable to walk briskly
in their pilgrimage to heaven.
do we share God’s passion for saving the lost and helping
bring them to heaven? Do we say to Jesus, after all the hard
work we have done, “Sir, your orders have been carried
out and still there is room.” (Lk 14:22). Do we want
to fill heaven with souls? Do we want no one left behind?
Do our hearts bleed for those who fail to respond fully to
the gospel? Do we grieve when we hear Jesus say, “For,
I tell you, none of those men who were invited will taste
my dinner.” (Lk 14:24).
It will be a great feast in heaven. Would you not want your
relative, friend, neighbor, co-worker, and even the stranger
or your enemy, to taste the dinner that you will be tasting?
Then go and evangelize.
to the New Evangelization!
God actually wants us to choose both. But the point here is
that, between two good things, what should clearly be the
 In Semitic usage, “to hate” means “to
 See tomorrow’s gospel reading.
 We have accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord, but we often
still prioritize family and work over the Master and His invitation
(events intended to bring us closer to God and to grow in