God wants a full house. Not like in poker … but at table in His Kingdom.
How do we know He wants a full house? Let’s refer to some of our Advent biblical guides:
“In days to come, the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest mountain and raised above the hills. All nations shall stream toward it.” Isaiah 2:2
“Many peoples shall come and say: ‘Come, let us go up to the Lord’s mountain, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths.’” Isaiah 2:30
“House of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord!” Isaiah 2:5
“Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.” Psalm 122:1
“The centurion said in reply, ‘I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof.’” Matthew 8:8
“(Jesus) ‘I say to you, many will come from the east and the west and will recline with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven.’” Matthew 8:11
In many moments described in the Bible, Jesus commands his servants to go out to the highways and byways and bring in the lame, the poor, the mourning, the wounded, the lonely, the outcast, the forgotten and the homeless. It was Israel’s first vocation to be the chosen people … not for their own sakes but for the sake of the nations; to be a light to the nations.
So it is with every one of us. We have been chosen, and blessed with every spiritual blessing under heaven. Called to go out and bring every man, woman and child into the Lord’s house.
I love what Catholic Relief Services says: We help people not because they are Catholic but because we are Catholic. We are called to share the love of God and his blessings - spiritual and material - with all, especially those most in need of our prayers, our help and our love.
Can you and your family help during this Advent season?
Work at or donate to a food pantry in your parish or town.
Invite someone or a family to join you at Mass in the Father’s House. The majority of families and individuals who stay away from Church say they have not been invited and they would come if they were invited.
Pray fervently for family members and friends and others who have lost the way and no longer feel welcome in God’s House.
Advent is just beginning. The joy and love available is real and available to all.
Be courageous, step out and take the risk of inviting that neighbor, that friend, that family that, like the Centurion, does not feel worthy. Let them know the Father’s house is their home too.
About Father Willy Raymond, C.S.C.
Father Willy Raymond, C.S.C. is President of Holy Cross Family Ministries. He entered Holy Cross Fathers in 1964. He earned a Bachelors in Philosophy from Stonehill College in 1967 and a Masters in Theology from the University of Notre Dame in 1971. In addition to English, Father Willy is conversant in French and Spanish. He's a native of Old Town, Maine and one of 12 children. He remains a diehard fan of the Boston Red Sox, even though he has served as Chaplain for the Los Angeles Dodgers.