We are already almost in the middle of October, celebrating the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time and reflecting on the parable of the wedding feast.
“Now we come to the third of three parables in three weeks. After learning about the two sons and the evil tenants, we now hear about the royal wedding feast. This parable, like the one from last week, is addressed to the chief priests and elders. Care should be exercised to remember that Jesus is not talking about all Jews; he speaks to the leaders in a particular time and place. And the parable he speaks to them is harsh, especially the end.
…the parable is fairly straightforward. The king sets a banquet, but the guests do not come. The first servants (prophets) are ignored, as are the second set (the apostles). Indeed, the invitees kill the messengers! The king enacts his vengeance on these people, killing them and burning their city before extending the invitation to others. (The fact that the king burns a city between setting a table for guests and serving the dinner tells us clearly that we are in the realm of story.)
This parable, then, is read like last week’s, in Christian-Jewish terms. The people whom God had chosen ignored his invitation both when the prophets announced it and when the apostles were sent. We recall that Matthew is writing at a time after the destruction of Jerusalem. So the parable’s mentioning of the people being killed and the city burned quite literally happened when Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans in AD 70. The original audience of Matthew’s gospel did not need much imagination to get the point.
The last four verses conclude on a troubling note. When the new guests arrive, the king sees someone not properly dressed. For that he is bound and thrown out. Again, we might wonder what kind of king this is! But the image of a king in Jesus’ time certainly had the power of life and death over his subjects. It makes for an apt image of God, even if the behaviors of the king in this particular parable sound off-putting. We recall earlier Matthean parables like the weeds and wheat. Matthew knows the church is a collection of the good and bad. Some quite literally need to be tossed out.
Those invited to the feast, and those who attend, should not be smug. There is no guarantee. An invitation does not necessarily mean attendance, and attendance does not necessarily mean celebration. There are expectations that need to be met.
The invitation to be part of the kingdom of God is not reserved for a select group but is a blanket invitation to all people. Despite the generosity of the invitation, there are some things we must do as invited guests. The most important one seems to be to simply to show up. But after that we must also come clothed “in a wedding garment,” as today’s gospel tells us. Multiple meanings could be deduced about what this wedding garment might symbolize. One could be that if we are invited to the greatest feast of all, we can’t just wander in because the door was open; we must be ready to truly enter into the celebration. “Many are invited but few are chosen” is a sober reminder for us all.” (Living Liturgy 2020)
Last Sunday, Grade 3 students from two of our elementary schools, St. Francis Xavier and St. Martin of Tours, received the Sacrament of Holy Communion for the first time! Please pray for them and their parents, that they may continue to grow in understanding and appreciation of this greatest gift of all that Christ has given them in receiving His Body. Also, thank you to the principals and teachers from both schools who stayed after the Mass, and after the First Reconciliation earlier in the week, to assist with sanitizing the pews.
With this Sunday being the Thanksgiving weekend, there will not be a 1st Communion celebration at the 4pm Mass, so the Mass is open to all our parishioners.
A few days ago, the Bishop’s office sent us a memo reaffirming all of the expectations and restrictions that are in place due to Covid-19. That information has been posted here on our website under the “News” tab for you to review it. Please continue to follow them very carefully to help keep everyone safe here during the time of pandemic.
As October is one of the months dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the praying of the Rosary, I invite you to join us in praying the Rosary at 8:30am every Sunday, livestreamed on our YouTube channel, followed by the livestreamed Sunday Mass at 9am. The link is attached for your convenience here: (please click on the picture below).
Have a restful weekend and a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!