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Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Bernard, Abb. D., (20th August, 2020) on the Gospel and the Memorial Ezek 36:23-28; Ps 50:12-15.18-19. (R. Ezek 36:25); Matt 22:1-14. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (1090 – 20th August, 1153) was born of noble parentage in Burgundy, France. His pious parents sent him at an early age to a college at Chatillon. Fearing the snares and temptations of the world, he embraced the Cistercian Order. He was sent by his superior with twelve other monks to found a new monastery at Clairvaux. Saint Bernard was appointed Abbot. He founded numerous monasteries, composed a number of works and undertook many journeys for the honour of God. He refused several Bishoprics offered to him. Popes were governed by his advice. He was commissioned by Pope Eugene III to preach the second Crusade. In obedience to the Sovereign Pontiff he travelled through France and Germany, and aroused the greatest enthusiasm for the holy war among the masses of the population. The failure of the expedition raised a great storm against the saint, but he attributed it to the sins of the Crusaders. St. Bernard was eminently endowed with the gift of miracles. Topic: Readiness for the banquet. In today’s gospel, Jesus likened the kingdom of heaven to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. But those who were invited made light of it, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized the slaves, mistreated them, and killed them. In anger, the king destroyed them and burned their city. He sent his slaves into the main streets to invite everyone. The king noticed a man without a wedding robe in the hall filled with guests and asked him how he entered without a wedding robe but he was speechless. The man was bound hand and foot, and thrown into the place of suffering. Knowing that the man without the wedding robe was among those found on the streets, many might judge his punishment as unfair. However, in the Jewish culture, it is required of the wedding guests to take wedding robes provided by the host before entering the hall. Again, the parable is about the kingdom of heaven. Jesus stresses the need to be ever ready, cf. Lk 12: 37. It is a very big privilege to be invited to the banquet, cf. Rev 19:9. However those invited made light of it. One’s robe must be washed to have the right to enter by the gates, cf. Rev 22:14. Anyone who does not enter by the gate is a thief and a robber, cf. Jn 10:1. We have the singular privilege to be invited to the banquet. The issue is whether we take it serious or make light of it. However, whoever fails to take it serious will be thrown into the place of suffering, cf. Lk 14:24. Decide for either the place of suffering or banquet. Bible Reading: Ps 119:1-16; Lk 12:35-40. Thought for today: God is inviting you to a banquet. Let us pray: Lord, help us to be ever ready for the great banquet – Amen. Saint Bernard – Pray for us. You are free to share this reflection with others if you consider it worthy. For more homilies (reflections): Visit our website: www.thepulpitonline.com Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/thepulpitonline Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/thepulpitonline Join our WhatsApp Group via: +234 810 298 6313 Send us Email: thepulpitonline@gmail.com To Contact and/or to support this ministry: Tel: +234 813 305 0302 Email: thepulpitonline@gmail.com May God bless you all+

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