Twenty-eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time - Scripture Soundings
First Reading: Isaiah 25:6-10a
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6
Second Reading: Philippians 4:12-14, 19-20
Gospel: Matthew 22:1-14 [1-10]
The theme this Sunday revolves around banquets and celebrations. In Isaiah we learn that all people will be invited to the banquet--not just the chosen ones. The term banquet doesn't do justice to the celebration that is planned. When we think of the joy and merriment found at the best party we've ever been to, we still only have a glimpse of the day God has planned. It will be the end of all the hurt, suffering, and sadness we have known. The celebration is in honor of salvation, the victory over death.
Paul tells the Philippians that he knows suffering and want, but he especially knows the graciousness of their community. He assures them of their place at the banquet where their every need will be satisfied.
Matthew reports one of Jesus' parables about a banquet and continues the theme that we are all invited to God's eternal feast. The first group to be invited, however, is apathetic and shrugs off the invitation. Provoked by their indifference, God will invite a second group--anyone who wants to come!
But if you come, you must follow the rules, including the dress code. In the parable, one person from the second group came to the feast not wearing the traditional wedding garment. He remained silent when questioned, but he could have made any excuse: he didn't have much notice; he came, after all, when the original ones didn't; how important is it, really?
We accepted God's invitation to be part of the family celebration. Perhaps our parents accepted it for us at our baptism, but we have sacramentally or prayerfully confirmed that acceptance. In the garments of our baptism we have R.S.V.P.'d to the conditions of the banquet and want to be a part of this victorious celebration.
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Updated: May 11, 2008