The Road to Hell is Paved With…Indifference. A Meditation on a Warning by Jesus

110514-pope-2The Gospel from today’s Mass (Tuesday of the 31st week of the year) features the familiar Lucan version of the parable of a certain man (in the Matthew version (Mat 22:2), Jesus calls him a king) who gave a banquet. But when all was prepared and the servants were sent out to fetch the invited guests, many of them made excuses, preferring not to come:

The first said to him,
‘I have purchased a field and must go to examine it;
I ask you, consider me excused.’
And another said, ‘I have purchased five yoke of oxen
and am on my way to evaluate them;
I ask you, consider me excused.’
And another said, ‘I have just married a woman,
and therefore I cannot come’ (Luke 14:18-20).

Now it will be noted that none of the excuses is wrong or evil in itself. None of the guests excuse themselves in order to be able to go off to see a prostitute, or to oppress the poor, or to wage war. Each goes off to do something good. However, as an old saying goes, “The good is the enemy of the best.” Oddly, the invited guests reject a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend the banquet of a king for some good, but lesser thing.

As such, they illustrate well the disposition of many today who prefer the lesser and passing things of the world to the greater and lasting gifts of God and the things awaiting them in Heaven. While indifference and wrongful priorities are human problems, we in the modern age seem to exhibit these in greater abundance. This is likely due to the effect of having so many options and creature comforts at our disposal.

Frankly speaking, indifference is a huge problem today. Though there are some people who strongly resist, disbelieve, or even hate God, and while there are others who are engaged in very serious sins, there is also an even larger number of people who have simply fallen into indifference and drifted away from God and the things of Heaven. They veer off to the modern equivalent of inspecting their farm, checking out their livestock, or being with their wife: one goes off to detail his car, another goes shopping at the Home Depot store on Sunday, yet another is off to a family function or even to work. If some think of God at all or of the invitation/reminder to attend Mass, they dismiss the thought: “Ho-hum, so many other things to do …”

What makes this sort of rejection of God’s invitation so pernicious is that, as in the parable, most of these people don’t go off to do terribly sinful things. Many today who live very secular lives, giving little or no thought to God, are actually very “nice” people. Many of them pay their taxes, don’t beat their wives, and are dedicated to any number of good causes. And thus we look at them and all too easily conclude that it’s “no big deal.” Though they seem to have no time for God or for the things of God, they are “nice” people. Surely everything is fine; they don’t really mean to reject God or the invitation to holy things; surely they will be saved in the end … or so we think.

The only problem is that the parable does not make this conclusion. Our thinking that everything is probably fine is at odds with the Word of God, the very Word of Jesus. The teaching of this parable does not blithely conclude that rejecting the invitation, even for some good but lesser thing, is no big deal. The parable sets forth that their rejection has real and ultimately catastrophic consequences in their lives. The rejection of the invitation means that they will not have no part in the banquet! Jesus has the king say, For, I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will taste my dinner (Lk 14:24).

So their indifference to, and rejection of the invitation has a lasting effect. At the end of the day you’re either at the banquet or you’re not. Being “nice” or going off to do good (but lesser) things has nothing to do with it. Being nice does not get you into the banquet; accepting the invitation and entering by obedience to the summons of faith gets you in. Once in, there will be plenty of “nice” and good things to do, but you’ve got to obey the summons and enter by faith. That many today regard the summons lightly, preferring worldly things to the things of God is, as the parable teaches, very dangerous.

Let us consider the reaction of the host (king) to the rejection by the invited guests. We need to study it carefully. The text says,

Then the master of the house in a rage commanded his servant,
‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town
and bring in here the poor and the crippled, the blind and the lame.’
The servant reported, ‘Sir, your orders have been carried out
and still there is room.’
The master then ordered the servant,
‘Go out to the highways and hedgerows
and make people come in that my home may be filled.
For, I tell you, none of those men who were invited will taste my dinner.’”

Note three things about the king’s response:

I. Rage – The word used in this translation is vivid. The king is described as being in a “rage.” Scripture says, And without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6). And again, Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him (Jn 3:36).

However, we must be careful here to understand the implications of the Greek word that underlies this. The word is ὀργίζω (orgizo). And while it can be properly translated as “anger,” the word expresses more deeply a “settled opposition” to injustice. Therefore the word does not describe God as being in an egocentric rage, as if he were some sort of a jilted lover. Rather, this anger comes from a settled, serene stance in which God does not (and cannot) adjust Himself  to the vicissitudes of sinners or change Himself to placate them. God’s stance remains unchanged. It is our stance that changes and makes us come to experience His love as wrath.

The form of the verb in this text underscores this reality. The verb form is an aorist, passive participle: ὀργισθεὶς (orgistheis), translated best as “having been angered.” Thus God does not change His principled stance of offered love; it is those who reject Him who change and experience His love as wrath. It is the result of human rejection that brings forth this experience. God’s settled opposition to the human refusal of love does not and cannot change. He is steadfastly opposed to our rejection. But it is our rejection of His offer that puts us in an opposing stance to Him, not an egotistical rage on the part of God. God will steadfastly desire His banquet hall to be filled; He does not change. And this explains the next the point to which we move.

II. Resolve – Having been rebuffed by some, the king’s “rage” merely intensifies his resolve to extend the invitation further until the hall is filled! He sends his servants (this means you) out again and again, and he will not stop calling until the full number of guests has been reached. Scripture says, Then [the martyrs]  were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete (Rev 6:11). And again, For the whole creation hopes for and expects the full revelation of the sons of God (Rom 8:19). An old spiritual say, “Oh, preacher, fold your Bible. For the last soul’s converted!”

Thus God, who does not relent in His resolve or change His settled stance, continues to call until enough sinful, stubborn human beings repent and accept His invitation to the banquet.

III. Respect – The final line is telling. And though it sounds like a denunciation, it should be understood more deeply as in fact respectful. The king (God) says, For, I tell you, none of those men who were invited will taste my dinner. At the end of the day, God will respect (though not approve of) the “No” to His invitation. God has made us free and He respects our freedom even if, in His settled opposition to sinful and harmful choices, He regrets our decisions. Scripture says, If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us (2 Tim 2:12). Yes, God will at some point either accept and ratify our denial of His offer or He will rejoice in our enduring “Yes.” But in the end, the decision is ours. And it is a decision that will determine our destiny.

We in the Church must become more sober in our appreciation of what a parable like this teaches. We cannot allow ourselves to be carried away by unbiblical notions that most will be saved merely by being “nice.” There are lots of nice people in the world (however vaguely “nice” is defined). But the more critical question is, “Do you want what God offers or do you prefer the world and other offers rooted in the flesh or even in the devil?”

There is a strange obtuseness to the human heart, which desires lesser things to greater things, which is easily carried away by passing pleasures, which hates the discipline of the Cross. We must recover an urgency in our evangelization that does not presume that most will “make it in” by some natural “goodness” or “niceness.” We need to draw everyone to the definitive “Yes” that a parable like this teaches is necessary. Vague notions of universalism and of being pleasant, nice people cannot replace the biblical teaching of obedience to the summons to say “Yes” to God’s kingdom. Naïve and myopic notions cannot save God’s people or motivate vigorous and urgent evangelization. Only an obedience to God’s Word can do that. Presumption is a terrible thing and it stabs evangelization in the heart.

The teaching here is clear: we need a sober, consistent, urgent outreach to the many souls who prefer the secular to the sacred, the passing to the perfect, what is here to what is heavenly. Wishful thinking will not win any souls, only a sober seriousness rooted in God’s Word will do so.

The music in this video I prepared is by Fiocco and the text is: Homo quidam fecit coenam magnam, et misit servum suum hora coenae dicere invitatis ut venirent: Quia parata sunt omnia. (A certain man made a great banquet, and sent his servants at the hour of the feast to say to the invited that they should come: for everything is prepared.)

47 Replies to “The Road to Hell is Paved With…Indifference. A Meditation on a Warning by Jesus”

  1. in practical everyday terms, what is the invitation? Is it that we go to Mass every Sunday? Change our jobs in order that we can become more like religious and evangelize / instruct?

    1. I am reminded of what the Blessed Mother told the people at the wedding fest at Cana: “Do whatever He tells you”. Of course we should go to Mass every Sunday if at all possible but there is so much more then that. Maybe you are called to the consecrated life but quite possibly you are called to stay where you are and just humbly dedicate yourself to doing God’s will day after day. Maybe that means going to daily Mass, maybe that means getting up a little earlier to pray, maybe that means giving a little extra in the collection basket even when you don’t think you can; the possibilities are endless.

      1. One day while singing “The Summons” in mass, the word homeless shelter just kept repeating in my mind/heart over and over. I rushed to Father after mass to let him know, soon after I found out I was getting a brand new car. I knew exactly what my Father wanted. It took some tracking down, but I found a homeless shelter in the area. Working there as a social worker was the absolute best experience of my entire life. No one seems to understand that it was far worth more than any monetary award. You see I chased after those high rises on the water, brand new cars, hot friends, big cities. But there in that place, as I worked to help people, God worked with me. Through helping them “get back up” I was healed, granted grace, granted humility, granted love, granted courage, granted God. I held on as long as I could. Now, as I look back I realize that I accomplished what God sent me there to do. Nothing compares to doing what God wants you to do. I find however, that figuring that out can be very difficult.

    2. The invitation is God himself. It is to be with God, to spend time with Him, to have a relationship with Him. Some folks have better things to do, so they think. Some would even prefer to bury their dead relatives. But Jesus says, “Get your priorities straight. Put God first. Put God before burying your dead, before your business dealings, put God before your spouse even. God goes first.”

      Because when God goes second, not only do all of those other things account for nothing, you miss out on God too. But when you put God first, accepting his invitation to be with Him, to go to his banquet, far from missing out on those other good things, you get them more abundantly. Your love for your wife increases when you love God before her. God is a multiplier, not a competitor.

    3. In practical, everyday terms, the Church has given us Precepts. Evangelization is sometimes included among them, but the five basic Precepts (Catechism 2041-2043) are: Attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days and abstain from servile labor, Observe days of Fast and Abstinence, Confess your sins once each year, Receive Holy Communion once during the Easter Season, and Contribute financially to the support of the Church.

      Bishop Baker of Birmingham said a few years ago on Eternal Word Television, “The Church asks so little of us to prepare us for Heaven!” If we take his words to heart, and follow the Precepts of the Church, then we can hope to be part of Our Lord’s final victory over sin and death.

      But don’t we often feel, most of us, called to something much more than this? And doesn’t the mere observance of the Precepts encourage a sort of minimal compliance with Jesus’s call that can slip downhill into indifference? Isn’t there a tension between those of us who merely follow the Precepts and those who feel on fire with zeal for the Kingdom? No doubt this mirrors the tension in Saint Matthew’s Gospel between two sorts of members of the Kingdom: the more rigorous and the more lax. The latter are to be tolerated, but of course they will face final judgment.

      We have a paradox here, but Pope Francis in his October 30 homily gave us the solution of the paradox. “Life,” he says with a typically Jesuit military metaphor, “is a military endeavor. Christian life is a battle, a beautiful battle, because when God emerges victorious in every step of our life, this gives us joy, a great happiness: the joy that the Lord is the victor within us, with his free gift of salvation. But we’re all a bit lazy, aren’t we, in this battle and we allow ourselves to get carried away by our passions, by various temptations. That’s because we’re sinners, all of us! But don’t get discouraged. Have courage and strength because the Lord is with us.”

      The joy, the delight, in the daily battle and the daily victory over sin and death! What a thrill! Who could remain indifferent in throwing herself or himself into this battle!

  2. Maxmillian Kolbe said that “the greatest evil of our time is indifference” and look at the times he lived in. Things have not improved in this area.

  3. Thank you Rev.Msgr ., for another good reflection and the reminder of how without faith , it is impossible to please God

    St.Paul , in yesterday’s incident mentioned with the slave girl, helps to remind how that faith has to be in the true God , not in python gods and masters greedy for money who are ‘users ‘ of those who come under them, giving lip service with decieving hearts and how we have to be careful to see who the master is of those who preach the KIngdom / kingdom – are there slavish /dragonish forces that control some !

    And once we know who The King / Kingdom is , better to trust in His invitation , even if those who bring same may not be all perfect / lovable in proclaiming same : ? better not to focus too much on the homilies being not the best but look to the King and His Banquet of mercy and love, esp. at every Eucharist , to make up for all the wants and defects in love and fidelity in oneself and the other, inorder to often say – Lord I trust in You and Your love for me and the other ; help us to live in accordance , so that all the toils that await one is carried out , in the sweetness and purity of love of That Memory !

  4. In practical terms, the invitation is to follow Christ. If we put the Lord as first in our life, in our every action, we will automatically be evangelizing everyone we meet. That is our mission as Catholics. Going to mass every Sunday is a given, going to Mass every day comes from desire. One doesn’t have to become a religious to be religious. One does not have to change their jobs, to bring Christ into the workplace. One changes their lives. One looks at everything and asks the question, should I be watching this, should I be reading this, should I be dressing like this, should I be allowing my children to do this, should I be listening to this? Accepting the invitation to follow Christ is the start of falling in love with the one person who loves you more than you can imagine. The feast that is being prepared for us is beyond description. It is a journey to that table, but it only starts with going to Mass on Sunday.

  5. Have a friend who whose wife n children are Catholics, attends Mass on Sundays and days of obligations, participate in church activities and ministry works but just did not want to seek baptism. He believes living the words of God is sufficient. I hope he will not be among those who were invited but not taste the dinner.

    1. Pray for him, Winnie. Conversion can come any time; I have heard of men like your friend who took 30 years of living in a devout family to be baptized, but it did (and does!) happen.

  6. What is the invitation? The invitation is to the full Catholic life. Mass every Sunday, of course. But, much more than that. Prayer, a sacramental life (regular reception of the Eucharist and Confession). Prayerfully reading the Scriptures. Study. Evangelizing. Helping the poor. And putting your faith into action. And so much more.

    From the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “Although man can forget God or reject him, He never ceases to call every man to seek him, so as to find life and happiness. But this search for God demands of man every effort of intellect, a sound will, ‘an upright heart,’ as well as the witness of others who teach him to seek God.” CCC par. 30

    Do you have to change jobs? Not necessarily. But, if your current job is keeping you from God’s Kingdom (i.e., the Church) then you should change jobs. (Most probably will not have to change jobs).

    Hope that helps. God bless you.


  7. A thought:
    We have been invited since Baptism to the Feast. Each day that we live Our Father welcomes us to the feast. Our mind and heart is to be present with him as we walk this world’s path. Like Enoch of Old Testament, each new moment we must strive to know and love him better than the day before. As we increase in knowing and loving him we will serve as he calls us to serve because we know him and love him, thus we joyfully obey. It is our work, it is our gift.

    If we are aware of God’s constant and complete presence we will be like good children; wanting to please our parents by the life we live; repenting when we fail to please and joyfully beginning anew when forgiveness is given. Our work is simple; be the child of God which we have been since Baptism.

  8. Hello fr. Please finish the original quote. needs to be said these days.

  9. Tailler Ap Hugh-

    The message is that we all owe everything to God. Each moment of our life is a gift from God and our worship of Him should reflect as such. We must be sober and watchful to focus every moment on God, in thanksgiving, repentance, and humility. Often times in life, this is hard as we are clouded by the world. We all go through this. But there is no one answer except in that each person must come to know and love God. God Himself will direct the individual’s will. But there is no question, that until the individual is resurrected into eternal life with God, the individual can always do more to unite himself to God. There is no question that one must first submit to God and in turn be united to God’s will, which is done in communion with the Church and by the graces given by God in the sacramental life. But, it is still first on the person himself, to accept the grace of God in their heart, no one else can do this for you. Those unfortunates in the parable never truly did this, as such they had no idea what they gave up until they were separated forever from God (hell) and the parable, as Monsignor Pope explains, is just a relevant today as ever. Too often a person will forsake eternal glory for enjoyment in the world now, and we, in our lives can all do that, which is why we must remain sober always and devote our lives to complete fidelity to Christ.

    God Bless,


  10. It is interesting that the prayer in the last day of the Divine Mercy novena refers to lukewarm souls as “these tepid souls, who, like corpses, filled You with such deep loathing…”

  11. The invitation I believe is a call to holiness in whatever vocation or location we are, in and out of season, for all generations and in whatever occasion/circumstance we are in and to do so is through the Sacraments of our faith. Sacraments of which is the Covenant of Our LORD JESUS CHRIST, the new and everlasting Covenant of HIS Flesh and Blood shed for the redemption of us mankind, that we will be HIS people and HE will be Our GOD. Practical or otherwise, it is for us to love and know and serve HIM as HE is and see HIM in others. Of course, these are easier said than done but to GOD everything is possible if we seek first the Kingdom of GOD and HIS Righteousness. Many a times, I fail but I always go back and ask for forgiveness and beg for HIS Mercy, that I may be allowed in HIS Banquet and there I find peace and consolation. Thank YOU, LORD, may I always accept YOUR invitation and go to the Celebration in the proper attire.

  12. The Last Supper above – did Jesus tell women to go away, while He invited the men to enjoyed the food and the drink ?

    1. @Jenny – Why would Jesus tell women to go away? Even though the Scriptures do not mention by name women attendees, the Passover meal was a family celebration. Certainly the man of the family would lead it but women were always present as part of the family. We know that Mary his Mother was in Jerusalem at that time so likely she would have been there, and since the other women close to him were in Jerusalem, they too would likely have been there as well.

      1. Jenny, in traditional Middle Eastern cultures, the men and women socialize separately, and they certainly eat separately. According to various mystics, the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Mary Magdalene, and the other women who were disciples and followers of Jesus were sitting in the adjacent room, and Jesus saw to it that they shared fully in the entire meal. Jesus never told the women to go away, and no where in the New Testament is He ever recorded as saying such a thing, where on earth did you come up with that? Jesus certainly was not afraid to socialize with women, to call women to conversion (cf. the woman at the well), to forgive their sins (cf. the woman caught in adultery). The Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Mary Magdalene, together with St. John and a few others, are recorded as standing faithfully at the foot of the cross at Calvary while the apostles and most of his other followers ran away.
        Jesus calls both men and women to full discipleship, to full participation in th life of the church, and to full salvation.

      2. My girls asked their father – why no picture(old or new) of the Last Supper shows girls and women eating there.
        My husband was at lost, me too.
        Any help, please ?

        1. This is not per se an argument against women in the priesthood. The Call of the 12 Apostles is more pertinent. It is true that the narrative says that he reclined at table with the 12. But that does not mean that women were nowhere to be found. (Though men and women did tend to eat separately in formal settings). But at the critical moment when he extended the task of “Do this in remembrance of me” the text’s mention of the 12 is meant to emphasize that this will be their task, (same with forgiving sins etc given later in John 20). As for the maleness of Jesus and his priest, remember that Jesus is not merely a man, he the grooom, and his church the bride. Hence the male priest signifies not only the maleness of Christ but also his status as groom.

        2. Jenny, please tell your daughter and husband this: there are no women in the PICTURE of the last supper. There is no biblical evidence for the inclusion or exclusion of women at that event. No one should take a painting done 1500 years after the meal as evidence of the guest list. Paintings of historical moments in time are meant to be art, not anthropological evidence.

          Blame the painter, not the subject.

    2. Jenny — from your name, I assume you are a woman.

      Well, Jesus is inviting you to the Last Supper. He’s not telling women to go away. Right here, right now, He is inviting you. Don’t be so shortsighted as to miss the point.

  13. The call is none other than to make Christ King and the Church the center of our lives. This is a foreign concept to many today but it is nonetheless the calling. And over the years it has become foreign even to many “good Catholics”.

    Today so many ARE involved in good and wonderful things that “duplicate” what the Church does and in so doing…detract from the Church. I think here of many who give time and money to service organizations which in the end do good but give the credit to the organization, not Jesus Christ and His Church. And thus we the Body lose strength as these efforts siphoned away time, money and energy to outside “commitments”. The Church’s traditional condemnation of Freemasonry was partly for this reason. The Church used to be less favorable to Rotary Club for example and even ignoring the support by that organization of activity that goes against Church teaching {population control, etc}, we find such organizations as taking people away from Church service. In addition, they do not point those served TOWARD salvation in the Church. Yes, there are many practical examples of just how the invitation is RSVP’d “Not attending”.

  14. I am reminded of what Revelation 3:15 says: “But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, not hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth.” I have found that turning from blatant sin to the Lord has been easier and more obvious than returning to the Lord from indifferent “niceness”. The former is like fleeing from a burning building and the latter is like trying to get of your warm bed on a cold day when what you don’t realize is that the roof is about to fall in on you. It is deeply disturbing to contemplate just how dangerous spiritual sloth is and how horrifyingly widespread the problem is (especially here is America).

    1. Amen, Ella! I thought of that very scripture you quoted as I read Msgr.’s excellent post. I’ve heard it said that “hate” is not the opposite of love, “indifference” is. I think there is so much truth in that and it is what Jesus was describing – either be hot or be cold, but do not be indifferent to me!

  15. Thank you again Monsignor for breaking the word of God for us without ‘watering it down.’ This is indeed a strong word for anyone striving to continue this journey of faith. Your conclusion is very powerful too:

    “The teaching here is clear: we need a sober, consistent, urgent outreach to the many souls who prefer the secular to the sacred, the passing to the perfect, what is here to what is heavenly. Wishful thinking will not win any souls, only a sober seriousness rooted in God’s Word will do so”

    If I may, this urgent outreach sounds once again like nothing else but a serious Christian initiation for Catholics and for those who are searching to deepen their faith with the Catholic Church. In the Neocatechumenal communities, here in the diocese, we are already attempting to build our faith journey through three basic pillars: The Word of God (celebrated during the week), the Liturgy (celebrated in the Sacraments – off the Eucharist… a Penance and Reconciliation celebration ending with fellowship every 2 or 3 months, and the Community, made up of the same members who walked together in this journey of faith and shared their growth with the guidance of lay catechists and priests willingly committed to evangelization.

    This movement is an excellent experience offering a real -rather than theoretical – answer to the need of evangelization especially because it is an experience within the context of a community of people – face to face rather than virtually or anonymously. And by community, it is meant composed of anyone, parishioner, non parishioner, devout Catholics, non-devout, youth, old, white, hispanic, african american, etc.

    Christian initiation shouldn’t be just for people wanting to get baptized or to receive the sacraments. This urgent outreach does exist in the Catholic Church today. St. John Paul II has called it the emergency room of the Church.

    1. Dear Aldo, while the neocatechumenal way appears to offer a “real – rather than theoretical – answer to the need of evangelization”, I would strongly caution anyone against regarding it as useful or even orthodox.

      Unfortunately the neocatechumenal way has distorted, at every level, the theological teachings, liturgical praxis and psychological implications of the Catholic faith. Coupled with an almost fanatical devotion to the founder(s), this movement (I use this term deliberately) has the potential to become the biggest internal threat to the Church in many centuries.

      The neocatechumenal way imposes itself on and in parishes, often creating strong division. For anyone that is interested in seeing what happens when the neocatechumenal way has free reign in a diocese, look up what is going on in Guam.

      1. Thank you Fatima for such blatant criticism. It helps me appreciate Monsignor’s next blog on our Lord’s Kenosis and my personal call to humility. However, I don’t think we – as Catholics or even non-Catholics who are seeking for more intimacy with God through this blog or any other means- are called to discourage or make such harsh generalizations about ANY of the MANY fruits of the Holy Spirit. Let us not mess with the Holy Spirit, especially in today’s context of our need to be re-evangelized and to evangelize. Such generalizations create divisiveness, and this is really threatening. I thought we are all about being one body, with many parts, but the same spirit, and Christ as our head. The Neocatechumenal Way is one part, one of many charisms in the Catholic Church today, including our diocese. And in response to Monsignor’s words – “we need a sober, consistent, urgent outreach to the many souls,” this movement provides an outreach as many others. In my parish in Takoma Park there are several charisms, including several neo catechumenate communities, prayer groups, Masses in other languages, and yes we ain’t perfect, but we are always called to be One Church.

        “Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus,”

  16. I had never thought of the Home Depot as a near occasion of sin before. 🙂

    In response to Jenny above, I have thought about this, and I think it is because
    it was a priestly ordination of sorts. (excuse my ignorance of the terms.)

    1. I think you may be correct, at least insofar as the painting is concerned. The artist was (probably) concentrating on the Apostles as they were being spoken to by Christ who, according the the Gospel from St. John, were being told in no uncertain terms (no more parables) about what was to be required of them and how things were going to play out. But as I replied to “jenny” above, I would be floored if it was proven that NO women were in attendance, or were asked to leave as she had inferred. I am, of course, open to those who may have some insight or evidence to the contrary.

  17. Can I just say I have had enough of the no women at the last supper silliness?

    No one alive has the guest list of last supper attendees, ok? The bible account is representative of the SOCIETAL NORMS AT THAT TIME IN HISTORY. Women may have been there or not. It’s IRRELEVANT.

    Anyone who brings this up is not actually concerned about how The Lord treats women. They are trying to incite antagonism. It’s not even a well thought out complaint! Sheesh, read Theology of the Body, or just use your brain and think about all the good things He gave us (we can have babies!).

    Gods opinion of women is much higher than women’s opinion of women. ‘Nuff said.

    1. Good posts regarding this topic ;

      would it be that The Lord knew how art such as above might cloud our hearts some and thus ,
      allows a saintly nun , Bl.Emmerich, with visions that vividly describe the scenes, having lifted the veil of time, into the eternal now !

      The 4 voluem set – Life of Jesus Christ ( from Tan books ) describes the scene of The Last Supper well and can be a good read for older children as well ; yes , women including Bl.Mother were there but , as Msgr .mentioned , the Last Supper and institution of The Priesthood itself – we have the essentials from The Gospels .

  18. Evangelism — University of Central Florida, (Orlando) next week God willing — Scripture Booklets, Banners, Maybe Preaching/Teaching — see you there 🙂 >

  19. Part of the reason for this indifference is the loss of the sacred within the Church. If the Church comes across as just another charity, people will not attend Mass. There are too many people who want to minimize the Sacraments and deceive people by putting the Sacraments and dogma/doctrine in false opposition to charity.

  20. I am confused about the inclusion of the married man:

    “And another said, ‘I have just married a woman,
    and therefore I cannot come’ ”

    If marriage is a vocation, wouldn’t the man rightly be concerned about his wife and, thus, giving himself to God by virtue of his fidelity to his vocation?

    1. He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. (Mt 10:37–38). etc

      1. I don’t think that answers the question. I do not understand how, say, a St. Peter could be called to leave his wife to follow the Lord, while the Church today affirms marriage as a vocation, and fidelity to our state in life is precisely how many of us are called to do our penance and reach Heaven, per Our Lady of Fatima. Makes no sense to me.

  21. When I read the man’s excuse of just taking a wife so he couldn’t attend the banquet, my first thought was that it was this man’s obligation to bring his wife to the banquet! The banquet is the Kingdom of Heaven and it is every spouse’s first obligation to lead his or her spouse to Our Lord and the his Kingdom.

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