October 12, 2008 Year A
Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reflections on the Readings
Theme: Responding to a Personal Invitation
Many are called but few are chosen.
Jesus' parables of the Kingdom of heaven convey the importance of our response to the invitation to rejoice in the Son of the Father's love. Some reject this to their own peril. Jesus came to his own home, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who received him, who believed on his name, he gave power to become the children of God. The family of God is not defined by geneology or bloodlines; those born of God are born not according to the flesh but by the Spirit, by the will God.
It is not the will of the Father that any should perish. The love that is from above is not coercive or demanding. A proposal is given to each of us to become one with the Father through the Son by the Holy Spirit. The marriage feast is given to facilitate this union of our hearts with the divine nature.
The chief priests and elders of the people again are highlighted as invited to the fulness of the Kingdom. Making light of Jesus and his teachings they finally will call for his crucifixion.
The opening of the Kingdom of God to the whole world began from the cross. At Jesus' last breath, the veil in the temple tore in two from top to bottom. And to the outcasts of the world goes out a call to participate in the divine nature. Come into the holy of holies and eat. Come to the feast. Isaiah proclaims it this way today: On this mountain the Lord of hosts will provide for all peoples a feast of rich food and choice wines, juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines. On this mountain he will destroy the veil that veils all peoples, the web that is woven over all the nations, he will destory death forever.
Jesus climbed Mount Calvary to wipe away the tears from every face. Today we can look at the crucifix and say with the prophet, "Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us! This is the Lord for whom we looked; let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!" For the hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain.
An unworthy response to the marriage feast of the King's Son includes neglecting the proper adornment of our heart. The King came in to look at the guests. There he saw a man who had no wedding garment on. And said to him, "Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?" The question of the King is about an improper and disrepectful attention to the things that matter to enter fully into the feast.
In the Sacrament of Reconciliation is the opportunity to be properly disposed to come to the feast; to receive the body and blood of our Lord. An examination of our heart reveals how deceptive and manipulative the heart can be. Knowing the Lord looks on the heart, it is the garment of holiness we desire. Out of the heart comes evil thoughts, adultery and murder. These and other ailments of the heart soil our garment and keep us from entering fully into Jesus who is our Passover.
A personal invitation to the feast of the Lord's Supper includes an examination to ensure we are properly disposed. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. This is why St. Paul concludes that many in the Church at Corinth were weak and ill. If nothing else this should help us understand that the bread we eat and the cup we drink are not just symbols. It is the body and blood of Jesus.
Let us come with the proper adornment and adoration.
Let us pray: Dear Jesus, clothe me in the pureness of your heart. Adorn me with the garments of salvation. Help me to put off the old man. I ask that the Father will find in me what He finds in His Son. At last may I hear, "Enter into the joys of your Lord." Amen.