There are two actions when responding to an invitation. We can either accept it or reject it. I realize that some people may say that there is also the “maybe” or “tentative” response. At the end, however, you either go or don’t go where you are invited.
In today’s Gospel (Luke 7:36, 8:3), Jesus accepts an invitation by a Pharisee to dine at his house. Doing so led a sinful woman to find him. Through their encounter we witness the power of repentance and forgiveness. The woman is so sorrowful that her tears wash Jesus’ feet. Her pain becomes an invitation for our Lord to come into her life. Jesus accepts this invitation too and, thus, forgives her sins.
Another option we have when we receive an invitation is to reject it. In the Gospel of Mark, the encounter between Jesus and the rich man (Mark 10:17-31) illustrates this point. When Jesus invites the man to follow him, he rejects the invite. The man was too attached to his possessions to accept the invitation.
In our daily lives, we are constantly sending, accepting or rejecting invitations. It is a way of controlling who becomes part of us. Who are you inviting, accepting or rejecting? What is your motivation in either case? Is God invited or rejected into your house? Are sinners welcome into or avoided in your life?
To know the answers to these questions, we must be intentional in our prayer. Our salvation depends on it because through our decisions sometimes we are like the Pharisee, the sinful woman, the rich man, and Christ. Which one are you?