“Christ has no body now but yours,
no hands, no feet on earth but yours,
yours are the eyes through which he looks
with compassion on this world.
Yours are the feet with which
he walks to do good.
Yours are the hands with which
he blesses all the world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”

Teresa of Ávila (1515–1582)

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One by one, they all began to make excuses. The first one told him, ‘I bought a farm and must go and see it. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I bought five teams of oxen, and I’m going to check on them. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’ When he returned, the servant reported these excuses to his master. The master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go quickly to the city’s streets, the busy ones and the side streets, and bring the poor, crippled, blind, and lame.’

Luke 14:18-21

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The people made flimsy, weak excuses. They changed their minds. Are our minds changeable? Do we come up with flimsy excuses to avoid being friendly with a new or lonely person? Do we make weak excuses rather than address an injustice that needs attention?

Let us not change our minds about acting on behalf of God. We are God’s hands and feet and body in the world. Let us renew our dedication to God’s way. As the hymn says, “I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back.”

In this parable, after the first guests make excuses, more people are invited to the banquet. This is a good example for us: include all kinds of people into our circle. Invite and include those whom it would be easy to overlook. We don’t want to forget or ignore any of God’s people. Let’s be inclusive. People on the busy streets, the side streets, the other side of the tracks, and the other side of the cafeteria shouldn’t be forgotten. It’s what the Master wants us to do!

Gail Jackins

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Thank you God for inviting me to your banquet. Keep me from making excuses not to do your will. Guide me in your ways for the sake of all your people. Amen.

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Let’s put our love into action.

“They’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love. Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.”

Peter Scholtes, “They’ll Know We Are Christians,” 1966

Gail Jackins

Gail Jackins grew up in northern Maine, so her friends refer to her as a Mainiac. She has a B.S. from the University of Maine at Orono and an M.Ed from Boston College. She is a lifelong Episcopalian who enjoys PBS, knitting, Jello, and children. Her favorite songs are from the era of Gershwin, Porter, and Berlin, yet she loves to listen to organ concerts at churches. She is a minister at St. Cuthbert's Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas.

He Leadeth Me

Carter Harrell: Making Space

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