Today, Sunday, October 11, twenty-eighth Sunday of ordinary time, the Gospel according to Matthew, chapter 22, verses 1 through 14, is read in all the Catholic churches of the world.
Our life is full of celebrations that culminate with banquets, lunches, meals, toasts.
When we were born, our father and other relatives made a toast to the joy of our birth.
When we celebrate our birthday we celebrate it with cake, drinks, parties. When Abraham’s son Isaac ceased to be breastfed, he held a great feast. (Genesis 21.8).
When the daughter turns fifteen, there is a big family party extended to the fifteen-year-old’s friends.
In eastern Cuba, when the daughter is born, a drink, a seasoning, is prepared, which is taken on the day of the fifteen.
When there are weddings, there are also banquets.
When the son comes from outside, there are great celebrations.
Jesus loved family meals.
Peter’s mother-in-law, once healed, served food to Jesus, James, John, Peter, and Andrew. (Mark 1, 29-31).
Jesus with Our Lady and her apostles were at the feast of Cana (John chapter 2).
Jesus said to feed Jairus’ daughter after he gave her life back. (Mark 5: 43).
Jesus fed five thousand men without counting women and children (Mark 6, verses 30-44).
In a meal at Simon the Leper’s house, a woman spilled a very expensive perfume on Jesus’ head, angating her body beforehand for her burial.
Also in Bethany, Jesus used to eat at the home of brothers Lazarus, Martha and Mary.
A great feast came when the father received the bad son returning to the house.
At a dinner Jesus instituted the Eucharist, at that dinner he turns bread and wine into his Body and Blood, which gives it to us as food and commands us to repeat this gesture.
When we go to a birthday banquet, weddings and parties, we all eat. Mass is a feast where we are offered the Body and Blood of Christ present in consecrated bread and wine. At this banquet we are all invited to participate well dressed in love, faith, mercy, purity.
Too bad not everyone communicats! We’re all invited.
Too bad our children and grandchildren don’t budge! We’re all invited.
Lord Jesus, help us all to participate in this feast that leads us to the feast of eternal life.
Whoever eats from this bread and drinks my blood will have eternal life. The risen Jesus eats with his disciples in Emmaus and on the shore of the lake.
Jesus invites us to eat with Him and Him, bread of eternal life.
What happiness to be beside forever, in the eternal feast of heaven, of whom he has fed us on this earth!
Alfredo wanted to meet God and discovered him at a banquet. Little boy Alfredo wanted to meet God. He knew that a long journey to where God lived had to be made, then he packed his backpack with muffins and soft drinks and began his departure.
When he had traveled about three blocks, he met old Deysi. She was sitting in the park, watching some pigeons. The boy sat next to Deysi and opened his backpack. He was about to drink his juice when he noticed that the old lady looked hungry, so Alfredo offered her a muffin. She accepted it very gratefully. Her smile was so beautiful that Alfredo wanted to see that smile again, so he offered her a soda. Again Deysi re-sketched his beautiful smile. Alfredo was delighted.
Alfredo and Deysi stayed there all afternoon eating and smiling, but none of them said a word.
When it started to get dark, Alfredo was tired and got up to leave. Before he had taken a few steps, he turned around and ran to Deysi and gave him a hug. Deysi gave him the biggest and most beautiful smile.
When Alfredo opened the door of his house, his mother Rosario was surprised by alfredo’s happiness. Rosario asked him what the cause was. Alfredo replied, “I have eaten with God. And you know what? She’s got the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen!”
Meanwhile Deysi, also with great happiness, returned home. His daughter Ivón was anonyged by the peace that her mother showed in her face and asked:
– Mom, what did you do today that has made you so happy?
– I ate breads and drank soft drinks in the park with God. And you know what? He’s younger than I expected.
As so many good things come out of the banquets:
-Every Sunday have lunch or eat with your family. At that lunch or meal we will remember the exploits and teachings of our deceased.
-There we will hear the wisdom of grandparents.
-There we will admire the courage of our young people and fill them with hope.
-There the children will teach us with their innocence.
-There the wife will make present her affection to the husband by serving with love, there the husband will contemplate the bodily and spiritual beauty of his wife and congratulate her on the rich food.
-There we will know joys and sorrows of all and we will light up to continue life on better paths.
-There we will invoke the presence of God, and his light, to be happy in this life and after being with Him at the feast of heaven.
God save you, Mary…
St. John XXIII, pray for us.
Santa Soledad Torres Acosta, pray for us.
And the blessing of Almighty God who created us to form a beautiful family, the blessing of Jesus Christ, the way of family happiness, the blessing of the Holy Ghost that can achieve unsuspected dreams for those of us who live in our house, descend upon you, and remain forever. Amen.
Below we offer in full the allocution of the Cardinal and Archbishop of Havana, Archbishop Juan de la Caridad García.