What to do in the Banquet of the Lord?

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The WORD in Other Words By Fr.  Harle Piga, SVD (Philippines) for the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time / A

There are two parables in our gospel today. The first is the parable of the wedding banquet. The King (God) gave a wedding feast for his Son (Jesus) and he summoned the invited guests (Israel) to the feast but they refused to come. Sadly, they found all kinds of excuses for refusing the invitation. Some of them even killed the servants (prophets) that carried the invitations. Such behavior was offensive! Outraged, the King destroyed those murderers and burned their town (Matthew probably added this verse to refer to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD), but relentless too, the King, instead, invited those on the roads of life, bad and good alike, including the outcasts of society and sinners.

I have three points. First, the King asserts on certain requirements. The doors of the kingdom are wide open, and the invitation extends literally to all regardless of ethnicity, education and culture. But once you come in, there are standards to be observed otherwise you will be questioned and will be thrown into the darkness outside. If a man appears in an inappropriate attire in a formal gathering, the gesture would be offensive, a sign that the guest is disrespecting the significance of the event. And this is the point of the second parable about the wedding garment. We should be clothed with Christ. Everyone is welcomed at the table of the Lord, but this table changes us. If it doesn’t, then we aren’t truly guests. We’re wedding crashers. 

Second, today we celebrate Indigenous People’s Sunday. Our indigenous brothers and sisters, who based on many circumstances are victims of cultural degradation and even social injustices, rightfully deserve to be in the banquet of the Lord. They are invited because just like us, they are honored, respected and loved by the King. Together with them let us feast on the rich food and choices of wine as described by Isaiah in the first reading.

Third and final point, the kingdom of God is a feast. And we should act in a festive mood. And this feast is meant to be enjoyed because our God is a God of consolations. He has invited us to this great feast. The question is, are we ready then to take up the challenge of living the standards of the kingdom? Then come, be honored to join the feast as we clothe ourselves in Christ!

Source – Bible Diary 2020

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