October 12, 2014
28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Is 25: 6-10a / Ps 23: 1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6 (6cd) / Phil 4: 12-14, 19-20 / Mt 22: 1-14
First Reading: Isaiah 25: 6-10a
On this mountain Yahweh Sabaoth will prepare for all peoples a feast of rich food and choice wines, meat full of marrow, fine wine strained. On this mountain he will destroy the pall cast over all peoples, this very shroud spread over all nations, and death will be no more. The Lord Yahweh will wipe away the tears from all cheeks and eyes; he will take away the humiliation of his people all over the world: for Yahweh has spoken. On that day you will say: This is our God. We have waited for him to save us, let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation. For on this mountain the hand of Yahweh rests.
Second Reading: Philippians 4: 12-14, 19-20
I know what it is to be in want and what it is to have plenty. I am trained for both: to be hungry or satisfied, to have much or little. I can do all things in him who strengthens me. However you did right in sharing my trials God himself will provide you with everything you need, according to his riches, and show you his generosity in Christ Jesus. Glory to God, our Father, forever and ever: Amen.
Gospel: Matthew 22:1-14
Jesus went on speaking to them in parables: "This story throws light on the kingdom of heaven. A king celebrated the wedding of his son. He sent his servants to call the invited guests to the wedding feast, but the guests refused to come. Again he sent other servants ordering them to say to the invited guests: 'I have prepared a banquet, slaughtered my fattened calves and other animals, and now everything is ready; come then, to the wedding feast.' But they paid no attention and went away, some to their fields, and others to their work. While the rest seized the servants of the king, insulted them and killed them. The king became angry. He sent his troops to destroy those murderers and burn their city. Then he said to his servants: 'The wedding banquet is prepared, but the invited guests were not worthy. Go, then, to the crossroads and invite everyone you find to the wedding feast.' The servants went out at once into the streets and gathered everyone they found, good and bad alike, so that the hall was filled with guests. The king came in to see those who were at table, and he noticed a man not wearing the festal garment. So he said to him: 'Friend, how did you get in without the wedding garment?' But the man remained silent. So the king said to his servants: 'Bind his hands and feet and throw him into the dark where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.' "Know that many are called, but few are chosen."
We are all invited to the Wedding Feast of Heaven. Our response to God's invitation is crucial. It's a dangerous thing to make light of God's invitation. In the parable, some of those who were summoned ignored the king, others declined because they were too busy with other things, and still others became hostile and violent. But all of them, each in his own way, made light of the invitation. The invitation to the feast just wasn't important to any of those who were invited; it had no priority for them.
It reminds me of people who just don't seem to have any interest in spiritual things. They are not always antagonistic toward the things of God; they just simply have no time for them. We need to examine our lives to see if we are responding to God's invitation on a daily basis. What makes a person worthy of entering the Kingdom of God is a willingness to commit our lives to God and take him at his word, and obey him. Whether or not God judges us as worthy of his kingdom is determined by our response in being an obedient follower of Christ. God's invitation is extended to everyone. The king sends his servants out into the streets to invite everyone they can find, "both bad and good." God's invitation is extended to people who have lived moral, upright lives since the time they were little children, as well as to the dregs of society -- the murderers, rapists and prostitutes of this world. Everyone is invited, "both bad and good." That's what's known as grace. By grace, God invites all kinds of people to the party. That's the grace of God's invitation. It calls us, wherever we may be, to something better.
Even though salvation is by grace, the kingdom of God involves living by certain standards. Being a part of God's kingdom means a diligent effort to live up to kingdom standards. Spiritual sloppiness will not be acceptable at the banquet of the King of Kings. It's true that the door of salvation is open to all, but when we come through that door we must put off the old man and put on the new man. Grace is not just a gift; grace is a responsibility.
Jesus said, "Many are called, but few are chosen. That's another way of saying: Everybody is invited, but very few wind up at the table. Why? It certainly isn't God's fault. He's prepared a feast for everyone, but he's not going to force anyone to eat and drink. If we miss out on the party and we go hungry, we have only ourselves to blame. Everyone has the opportunity to enter the kingdom of God, but only a few will accept the invitation to enter the kingdom and will be serious enough to clothe themselves in God's righteousness.
God has prepared a spiritual feast for anybody who wants to join him. He wants us to partake of that joy with him. But no one will enjoy the "feast" of the kingdom who refuses to take the kingdom seriously. Whether or not we come to the feast depends on us. If we take the kingdom of God lightly, we will never enter. There will always be some excuse we can come up with. But if we give the King's invitation the priority it deserves, willing to believe it and obey it, then we will enjoy the blessings of that kingdom throughout eternity.
We are not worthy to be at the King's banquet. No one can earn a place or deserve the invitation, God does so by grace and grace alone. We are not worthy to dine with the King. That is the beauty of the offer because it is more than we deserve.
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... for world peace and reconciliation
... for the birthday intentions of Jojo Fresnoza
... for wisdom, perseverance and clarity of mind for those who prepare and take their exams:
* Karen Tuala who takes the bar exams on the four (4) consecutive weekends of October
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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