Theme: The wedding feast
Today's Gospel tells us about some people who refused an invitation to a wedding feast and others who accepted it. We are celebrating the Eucharist because God, in his love has invited us and we have accepted His invitation. Mere participation is not enough what is very important is the spirit in which we participate.
We are called to participate in the spirit of thankfulness and joy because the Lord invites us to the banquet of truth and goodness, of holiness, grace, justice, love and peace.
In the first reading from prophet Isaiah 25:6-10. The image of a banquet is used to describe the blessings God has in store, not only for Israel, but for all nations.
The second reading calls us to desire the help of God because St. Paul in his letter to the Philippians 4:19-20, says that for him poverty and riches, hunger and plenty are all the same. With God's help he can cope with anything life brings.
In the Gospel, Mathew 22: 1-14. Mathew rather gives a strange story of the invited guests who refused to turn up for the wedding feast, with the result that their places were given to others.
The historical context of the parable is quite clear. The first people to be invited to the wedding feast, but who refused, stood for the Jews. Those from the 'cross roads' who accepted the invitation, stood for the gentiles. The banquet was the Kingdom of heaven. This was a revolutionary parable because it meant the gentiles were to take the place of the Jews.
God invites all of us to salvation. To refuse his invitation, is to refuse salvation. To be fit for salvation, Jesus tells us that we should always strive to put on the garment of salvation, which is conversion/repentance from our sins. To accept to be part of a community of brothers and sisters that live by the Kingdom values of love, truth, peace , holiness and grace, unity, justice and reconciliation.
God is continually inviting us to the banquet of fuller, deeper and more spiritual life, a life worthy of our dignity as His daughters and sons.
May God help us to accept his invitation whole heartedly.