Parable of the Great Supper

[Oriental supper]A parable occurring in Luke 14. The occasion of this parable was a pious exclamation, made by one of the guests at a supper to which Our Lord had been invited. As Jesus had just mentioned the reward in store for good done unselfishly at the resurrection of the just, a man exclaimed: “Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the Kingdom of God.” Jesus takes occasion to teach that the Kingdom of God is something which will require more than a pious wish, and He does so in the parable of the Great Supper.

A man, who is naturally to be imagined wealthy, has prepared a great banquet and just before the feast he sends a servant to remind the guests of the invitation previously accepted by them. At the last minute each one of the guests in turn excuses himself, alleging various reasons of more or less cogent character. Angered by this refusal, the man sends his servant to bring in the poor, the lame, etc., whom he may find in the city. After these have been brought there is still room left, then he sends the servant to bring in all whom he may find on the roads leading to the city, so that there will be no room for those that were invited.

The parable teaches that they alone shall enter the Kingdom of God who have listened to His call in a spirit of docility, without allowing themselves to be detained by other cares in the false hope that their place is secure. Several Catholic authors as well as most critics outside the Catholic Church hold that this parable, and that reported in Matthew 21, are two parallel forms of the same parable; still the identification cannot be regarded as certain.