October 11, 2020
Jesus Christ, Son of the eternal Father, invites us to the banquet of his wedding, of his decision to humanity, which is the Eucharist celebrated every Sunday in memory of Easter.
“This is the Lord we look forward to. Let us celebrate and enjoy his salvation.”
“I can do everything in him who comforts me.”
Reading the book of Isaiah 25, 6-10a
The Lord of the universe will prepare for all peoples, on this mountain, a feast of succulent delicacies, a feast of solera wines; exquisite delicacies, refined wines.
And the veil that covers all the peoples, the canvas spread over all nations, will start on this mountain. It will annihilate death forever.
God, the Lord, will wipe away the tears of all faces, and take away from the country the oprobrium of his people—as the Lord has said.
That day it will be said: “Here is our God. We waited on him and he saved us. This is the Lord we are waiting for. Let us celebrate and enjoy with his salvation, for the hand of the Lord shall rest upon this mountain.”
Come out 22, 1-3a. 3b-4. 5. 6.
R/. I will dwell in the house of the Lord for years without a term
The Lord is my shepherd, nothing is lacking: in green meadows he makes me lie down;
leads me to quiet sources and repairs my strength. R/.
He guides me down the right path, by the honor of his name.
Even if I walk through dark glens, I fear nothing, because you go with me:
your rod and your fall soothing me. R/.
You prepare a table before me, in front of my enemies;
you aoge my head with perfume, and my glass overflows. R/.
Your goodness and mercy accompany me every day of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for years without end. R/.
Reading St Paul’s Letter to the Philippians 4, 12-14. 19-20
I know how to live in poverty and abundance. I am seasoned in everything and for everything: to sickness and hunger, to abundance and deprivation. I can do everything in the one who comforts me. In any case, you did well to share my tribulations.
In payment, my God will provide all his needs with magnificence, according to his wealth in Christ Jesus.
To God, our Father, glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Reading the Holy Gospel according to Matthew 22, 1-14
At that time, Jesus spoke again in parables to the high priests and elders of the people, saying:
“The kingdom of heaven resembles a king celebrating his son’s wedding; sent his servants to call the guests, but they didn’t want to go. He sent other servants back, instructing them to tell the guests:
‘I’ve got the feast ready, I’ve killed calves and barleys and everything’s ready. Come to the wedding.’
But they did not listen; one went to their lands, another to their businesses, the others grabbed the servants and mistreated them and killed them.
The king rode in anger, sent his troops, who wiped out those assassins and set the city on fire.
Then he said to his servants:
‘The wedding is ready, but the guests didn’t deserve it. Go now to the crossroads and everyone you find, call them at the wedding.’
The servants went out on the roads and gathered all those they found, bad and good. The banquet hall was filled with diners. When the king came in to greet the diners, he repaired one who was not wearing a party costume and said:
‘Dude, how did you get in here without the wedding dress?’ The other one didn’t open his mouth. Then the king said to the servants:
‘Tie him to his feet and hands and throw him out into darkness. There will be crying and grinding of teeth.’
Because many are called, but few are chosen.”
Today’s Word of God illuminates our existence with optimism and hope amid the darkness and shadows around us.
The prophet Isaiah, with a beautiful and hopeful message, announces in the future the fulfillment of the Lord’s promises to his people. And he does so from the image of a splendid feast that God will prepare and to which all peoples are invited. It is striking that the proclamation is not only for the people of Israel, for the few, but for all nations, for all the peoples of the earth. No one is excluded, we are all included.
He says he will rip off the veil, annihilate death, wipe away tears, ward off the oprobrium of his people. His proclamation has eschatological connotations, that is, it gives the impression that its full fulfillment will occur at the end of time, when death is overcome and all tears of suffering wiped out, when the veil of faith gives way to the light of face to face, when the oprobrium of exile is forgotten with the possession of the promised land , eternal life for all of us who trust in the Lord, those who wait in Him. But it is sensed that its realization begins already in the present.
No doubt these texts invite us to wait on the Lord. Wait against all hope as Abraham knew how to expect our father in faith. To wait for the Lord, in the sense of being attentive in his wake, in his moment, without rushing and without falling asleep, knowing that He has his own rhythm and that without Him we can do nothing. To wait for the Lord and to wait on the Lord, that is, to trust in Him, putting in his hands all our burden and anxiety, our doubts and problems.
It is the trust in the Lord to which Psalm 22 invites us, the psalm of the good Shepherd. He is our Shepherd, who guides us, protects us, feeds us, gives us rest. Always walk with us and that’s why dark glens and valleys of darkness don’t matter. With Him we fear nothing or anything is missing. This psalm reminds us of the thought and words of St Teresa of Jesus: “Nothing troubles you, nothing frightens you!… who has nothing missing from God. Only God is enough.”
It is the same trust in the Lord that St Paul makes us partakers in today’s second reading. In all his tribulations and diverse situations he has found the necessary strength in Christ. He says openly, “I can do everything in the One who comforts me.” Christ gives him strength for everything. Sterile grievance or selfish lament cannot be part of the daily life of the Christian. The strength of spirit, which derives from trust in Christ, makes Christians “off-road” men and women like St Paul; that we know how to adapt to any situation; that we face any problem with the serenity that faith in God the Good and Provident Father gives us; that we know how to live in abundance and deprivation; that we are not afraid of anything or anyone, because we can all in Him in whom we believe, because nothing is impossible for God.
We also see how St Paul, at this end of the letter to the Philippians, shows them his appreciation for all the help received from this much-loved and generous community. And he reminds them that God never lets himself be won in generosity.
In today’s Gospel Jesus offers us a beautiful new parable. The biblists tell us that there are actually two of them, one from the wedding banquet and the other from the ill-dressed man.
The profound meaning is that God the Father wants to marry all mankind through his Son, Jesus Christ. He does not settle for having created us, giving us life at every moment, but wants to establish with us a permanent friendship, a personal relationship because he cannot fail to love us. Don’t be content that we’re good, that we keep his commandments. He wants to have with us a sponsal relationship, of communion of life and love, made of dialogue, trust and forgiveness.
That is why he came out of eternity to enter the time of our history; for that he became incarnate, he became man, as we say in the Creed, “for us”, which also means “for us”. And that’s why he’s still looking for us in any corner where we are, even if he’s the secluded, darkest, even if we’re angry up to our eyebrows. Too bad when we replace it and replace its place with the things of this world… work, business, our whims or just anything, even if it’s not bad. Christ today is still rejected; openly by some, overlappingly by others, all laden with “personal reasons” to say no. Right, He invites, never forces… always respects the freedom in which he has created us out of love.
The Christian life of each of us should be a love story with Jesus. He has given his life for us, for each one in particular. His love is free, selfless, faithful, confident. He loves us every day and every day. I hope that every day we remember it… especially when we feel devoid of the love of the close, those who should love us. Jesus Christ always loves us, even if we do not love Him. Let us not forget to say in prayer: “Lord, You are my God and my whole; I love you with all my heart.”
The festive celebration of God’s love for humanity, to each of us in particular, takes place at the feast of the Eucharist, christ’s sacrifice, God’s new Covenant with all men, thanksgiving for his living and continued presence at our side. How important it is that we party for such a celebration, especially the Lord’s Day, on Sunday. It is evidently not about the outer costume but above all the interior, our spirit purified and renewed from the mercy of the Father who never tires of forgiving our sins. What a waste when so many Christians go to the celebration of the Eucharist and cannot communite. What a pity when those of us who believe in Him and celebrate Him do not love us as brothers. What a pity when we turn the celebration of the Eucharist into a mere ritual devoid of life and haste for the measured time. But that not being sufficiently prepared does not prevent us from participating in that banquet. The Lord awaits us all, good and not so good. It is the feast of the Kingdom of God, not ours. And through him, Christ wanted to stay with us forever and wants to continue building his Church.
We felt your call and invitation again today. He’s noticed you and me, with a unique look of choice. Let’s say yes.
You’re with us every day until the end of the world.
You are with us, Divine Omnipotence, with our fragility.
You are with us, infinite love, that you accompany us in all our steps.
You are with us, sovereign protection and guarantee of success in temptations.
You are with us, energy that sustains our hesitant generosity.
You are with us in our struggles and failures, in our difficulties and trials.
You’re with us in our disappointments and anxieties to give us back our courage.
You are with us in the sadness to communicate to us the enthusiasm of your joy.
You’re with us in solitude as a companion who never fails.
You are with us on our apostolic mission to guide and sustain us.
You are with us to lead us to the Father on the path of wisdom and eternity. Amen.
(Fr. Ignacio Larrañaga)