From Our Pastor's Desk
From Our Pastor's Desk
Sunday, October 15th, 2023 – Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Cycle A Readings: Isaiah 25:6-10a, Psalm 23 “I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life”, Phillipians 4:12-14, Matthew 22:1-14
INVITED TO THE BANQUET
The principle message of the parable is this: We have all been invited to heaven, but whether we get in or not depends on each individual person. To achieve heaven! Arriving there is the most important job of our life. What’s the good of a comfortable lifestyle, a successful career if we lose our soul? As St. Teresa of Avila says about true wisdom, “In the end, the one who gets it is the one who is saved; and the one who isn’t saved doesn’t understand anything at all.” Brothers and Sisters:
1. The parable of this wedding banquet gives us the image of a God who calls all people to share a great feast with him, but does not receive the response he was looking for. The banquet is ready, yet few are interested in coming. Some respond indifferently to the invitation because it does not suit their tastes, others openly reject it, and there are still others who devise a plan to boycott and systematically destroy every single moral value to be found in human society, saying that “all expressions of religion should be eliminated, its symbols destroyed, and its voices silenced.”
2. Nevertheless, God’s way of acting always respects human freedom. The King’s guests refuse to come to the banquet because they’re centered on material goods, such as their work or business. In a similar way, many people turn away from the faith on account of hedonism or ideologies which envelope them. The modern world is suffering from a spiritual illness.
If atheism could have its way it would “kill God,” or at least make him disappear from society altogether. Nietzsche, who considered himself an atheist, exclaimed: “What have we done? Haven’t we thrown ourselves headlong into the abyss in every sense of the word? An abyss that is before us, beside us and all around us? Does an above and below still exist? Aren’t we wandering aimlessly through an infinite nothingness?”
3. God continues to hope in us. He has sent his invitations to everyone, to “the good and the bad” alike. Conversion through grace and charity is the key to sharing in the banquet of the Kingdom of God. If this is lacking, we will “be thrown into the darkness outside,” like the man who wasn’t wearing a “wedding garment.” What does the “wedding garment” stand for? Charity. St. Gregory the Great was right in preaching that there were some in the Church who have faith, yet still lack charity. We are all guests at the banquet of the Word, he says, because we have the faith of the Church and nourish ourselves on Sacred Scriptures. Ask yourselves if you come dressed in the wedding garment; take a look at your thoughts and examine your hearts to see if you harbor grudges against anyone, if envy burns inside of you because of someone else’s happiness , or if you maliciously brood over secret desires to harm your neighbor.
There’s a Spanish saying that goes like this: “If you don’t resemble the person you love, it’s because you don’t love those whom you resemble.” When it comes to love, people in love are already similar to each other or they become similar. True love brings us to give of ourselves without holding anything back, without deceptions, without limits, and without hypocrisy. Let us ask God to be this way.
Source: ePriest.com / Best Practices and Homily Resources for Catholic Priests