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Plus One V2

With the rush of RUSH comes so much emotion – the excitement of being a part of something bigger than oneself, the affirmation of being accepted by your peers, the joy of sharing something with friends, new and old.  That is the beauty of sorority and fraternity life and in its best moments, it is a blessing to the university community.  And then there are those who weren’t invited and the rush of emotions that they feel – those who rushed and were denied and those who didn’t rush because on some level they knew they may not have been accepted.  I am not one who believes that since everyone can’t be a part of something, no one should be a part of it, but my heart does go out to those who didn’t “get in”.  Another hard lesson of life learned:  there are some things to which we are not invited.

I wonder if Church ever seems that way to anyone.  Do we as a Catholic Church in overt and covert ways send a message that says you are not invited, you are not welcome, you don’t make the cut.  In Sunday’s Gospel from Matthew we hear Jesus calling his disciples.  He makes a personal invitation and it is so compelling that even without a clear understanding of the fraternity into which they are being called, they leave everything.  That is one compelling invitation.  Can we do the same?  Can we send the message that Christ has come to invite us all, with our gifts, talents, sins and shortcomings to be a part of this congregation that is more than Greek Life could ever hope to be?  But to do that, we need to first see ourselves as the inviters, and therein lays the challenge.  Most of us think that is someone else’s job.  After all, it’s not my party – I’m not on the selection committee.

We aren’t on the selection committee because in true Catholic life there is no such thing.  Not only are all welcome, but all are challenged to invite others.  Imagine the difference we can make in the lives of people who have yet to experience the fullness of life in Christian community.  Maybe our Church world seems to have a big sign outside of it that says “Do Not Enter” only because there is no one on the outside going around inviting people in!  I can’t invite everyone, but all of us, all of you can.  Let us take this opportunity to invite someone to join us for Sunday worship.  There is always room for one more, in fact we live to be blessed by one more at the table.

Plus One V2 should be our sign, our sorority/fraternity call letters (like Zeta’s crown).  A simple positive sign that reminds us that our doors are open to all not simply when we declare them such, but rather when we act like Jesus and go out and invite one more to come to the table, especially when we invite someone who may believe that they aren’t worth the invitation.  Join me this week in inviting one more next Sunday!

 

Peace,

Fr. Mike
fr.mike@duke.edu  c. 919-316-8763 / w. 919-684-1882
Follow me on Twitter @TheDukePriest