The scriptures today speak of banquets and riches, and of how the Lord will prepare a feast for those who will dwell on His Holy Mountain. How the Lord will remove all sorrow and destroy Death for ever. This will result in people praising God as never before, because on that day, they will see His power, as they have never seen it before. These last few weeks we have heard Jesus tell the chief priests and the elders about the kingdom of heaven. In each of the parables He has described these leaders of the Jewish people and pointed out to them the errors of their ways. Jesus gives them every opportunity to change their ways, but these stubborn people refuse and instead go on to plot the destruction of Jesus; just as Jesus predicted in the parable we heard last week.
This week, we hear of a lavish wedding feast, a feast that the very wealthy are initially invited to. But these people are either too busy looking after their land or their business or they attack the messengers, killing them. The king, furious with them dispatches his soldiers to wipe them off the face of the earth; killing all those who live there. This leaves the king with a predicament; he still wants to have the lavish banquet, so he asks his servants to find others to invite. The hall fills and the king enters the banquet hall but finds one guest who is ill prepared, he has come without the necessary attire. The king approaches him, calling him friend, and asks “where is his banquet dress?” The guest stays silent, unable to reply; his lack of preparation sees him thrown out of the banquet; suffering the same fate as those originally chosen as guests.
The message for us; is to put God first. Those who tended their farm in the parable, only had a farm because it was God’s will; those with a business, again using talents and resources provided by God; those who attacked God’s servants only had power because it was God’s will. None of these people in the parable were putting God first; they were all serving their own interests. The person who was called unexpectedly is an example for us too; we may be willing to go to the feast but how well prepared are we?
How is our wedding garment looking? This is not about wearing the right clothes. Our wedding garment, for the ‘eternal banquet,’ is sown together by all of the little acts of kindnesses which we perform throughout our lives; from sharing our toys as children, giving to the poor, by giving our life for another in Matrimony or Holy Orders, by all of the things we do to love God and our neighbour. All of these acts of kindness, all of the times when we decide to love instead of being selfish; these bring together our wedding garment.1
At times my wedding garment can become a bit frayed as I drift into selfishness. Some of the loving things I have done become undone, as my selfish acts pulls at the threads of my wedding garment. The times when I pray in a robotic way instead of putting my heart and soul into my prayers are times when I am not loving God; I am paying Him lip service, these times also pull at the threads of my wedding garment. If I really want to enter the eternal banquet and be permitted to stay there, I have to lose any notion that I, as a Christian, have automatic right of entry, because the original Chosen people rejected Christ, I can be thrown out in the same way that they have been excluded.
In the second reading we hear today, St Paul says that we are all empowered to endure any trial if we fully trust in Christ. The image of the banquet is a lavish one; it is there for all of us. Trust in Jesus and we can rightfully take our place there, but only if we love God and our neighbour in the ways we act.
[Just a reminder that we are partnering with Christians Against Poverty to bring Money Coaching sessions to St Bede’s Church on the 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd November at 7pm, all are welcome, but please book at Get to grips with your finances | CAP UK, booking helps us to allocate you a space and helps us with catering. The sessions are free and start with a free meal. If you would like more information before committing to this please email me on email@example.com or call Pam on 07833059529.]
The Catechism of the Catholic Church
Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
CCC 543-546: Jesus invites sinners, but demands conversion
CCC 1402-1405, 2837: the Eucharist is the foretaste of the Messianic Banquet
For more information on Money Coaching Money coaching | CAP UK | CAP UK
Please keep in your prayers this week
- Those who are sick, those recovering from surgery, those who are dying, the recently deceased and those who mourn.
- All those struggling to feed their families at this time.
- Those working to help others who are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.
- Those discerning a vocation and those considering coming into the Catholic Church.
- The success of the Money Coaching sessions, which are coming to St Bede’s.
- The families completing the Baptism Preparation Course this Sunday at St Bede’s.
- The forthcoming Called and Gifted Programme.
1 Maurice & Margaret Magee, I am With You, Year A, [Two in One Flesh, Caterham, 2013]118.