28th Sunday O T Year A – 17
Is 25:6-10; Phil4:12-14, 19-20; Matt 22:1-10
Life is full of opportunities knocking at our doors waiting to be opened. It is full of chances by which we can enjoy life to the fullest. But they are not always there forever.
We have to grab the opportunity while we have the time and the chance or else, we ended up blaming, not others, but ourselves. Invitation Is an example of opportunities knocking at our door to be opened.
But instead of us getting off our feet to open the door, we complain about the noise.
There is a story of a young man who went to other places in search of fortune. A few years later, he returned to his place with several passenger jeeps loaded with riches.
“Now, I am going to play a trick on my relatives and friends,” he said to himself. He donned some rugged clothes and went to see his cousin Pedro, first. “I’m your long-lost cousin, Juan.
I’m back home after several years in other places. Just look at me how miserable I am. May I stay with you for a while?” he said. Pedro said: “I’m sorry, but there is no room here for you.”
Juan visited some of his relatives and friends but he was not accepted any of them.
So, he decided and returned to where he put his riches, dressed himself in luxurious clothes, rode through his place with a large entourage of servants and purchased all those businesses about to close down and bought a majestic mansion.
After only two days, the news of his riches had spread all over the place. “Who could have imagined it,” said one of the relatives and friends who rejected him, “if we had only known, we would have acted differently, but it is too late now. We missed the riches.”
In today’s gospel, Jesus tells us the parable of the wedding feast prepared by a king for his son. Calves and fattened cattle were killed and a long list of guests is drawn up which includes the wealthiest and most respected people in the kingdom.
Clearly, he wants a wedding feast that will be remembered with joy by his son and the prospective daughter-in-law. When everything is ready, the invited guests are summoned to come. But they refused to come.
Instead, they pursued their own travel and work plans. The king resorted to an unheard move; he invited all kinds of people.
Can you imagine a powerful leader inviting laborers, farmers, fishermen, urban poor and even beggars and others to a wedding celebration?
But there yet is another surprise. All are invited – sinners and righteous, unworthy and worthy persons but not all are allowed to stay.
Jesus explains that though the Kingdom of God is open to all, accepting the invitation means accepting the responsibility and challenge of Christian discipleship.
If we accept the invitation, we must put on “wedding garments,” (v. 11). The insistence of wearing wedding garments is a warning for each one of us about the future to come.
So, we must clothe ourselves in the garment of virtuous living or a good life. Mere membership in the church or in religious organizations and church ministries or charitable institutions does not guarantee us salvation.
To own salvation, we must have a virtuous living. There are several signs by which we may lose that invitation by God to be in His Kingdom.
Like such attitudes and actions as: “I will not attend or hear mass because I have to do my laundry today”; “I will not attend Mass this Sunday because I have unfinished business transaction, anyway, I’ll attend next Sunday”;
“I’ll not attend the meeting this Sunday because it’s our family day and our household meeting or not feeling well or I’ll go to the market, anyway Christ will understand my situation.”
By saying, “Christ will understand my situation,” we are bribing God in presenting to Him our situation and yet we are given so much time and opportunities to do all those things. We hurt God.
And so, we must drink the Christian BEER and that is B for Bible reading. E for Eucharist- to attend the Eucharist celebration and to receive the Body and Blood of Christ.
The second E is expression of love, especially to those that nobody loves them and then love God and us. And the last word R is for Rosary, by loving our mother Mary by praying the Rosary daily.
To become a participant of the kingdom of God is a privilege as well as a responsibility. The responsibility is to accept the condition of undergoing a radical transformation.
It is a transformation from self-centeredness to God centeredness, form hatred to forgiveness, from egoism to altruism and from greediness to sharing.
The followers of Jesus are called to create the kingdom of God situation wherever they are:
The school in which one teaches, the company or department where one works, the parish where one is a pastor, the old age home where one cares for the aged, the orphanage where one becomes a mother/father to the orphans etc.
The early Christians by following the way of Jesus created just, harmonious and inclusive communities on the model of the kingdom of God. Let us take inspiration from them and replicate such communities in the context in which we live and work.
Be Blessed and be a Blessing. Amen.