Homily (Reflection) for the Twenty-Eighth Sunday of the Year (A) (11th October, 2020) on the Gospel
Is 25:6-10; Ps 22. (R.v.6); Phil 4:12-14.19-20; Matt 22:1-14 or 22:1-10
In this parable, who is to blame – the man who went to the banquet without a wedding robe (unprepared), cf. Matt 22:11-12 or the host who charged his servants “... invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet” (Matt 22:9) or the slaves who “gathered all whom they found, both good and bad” (Matt 22:10)? Note that the man without the wedding robe was one of the people the slaves met in the streets. Who knows where he was going to when the servants met him?
Topic: Wedding banquet and the robe.
This parable is about the kingdom of heaven. The invited guests had other things they considered more important than the kingdom of heaven (wedding banquet), cf. Matt 22:5). Could it be that the farm and the business could not be attended to if the invitations were honoured? Some of the invited guests could not even bear the sight of the slaves that were sent. Hence, “…the rest seized his slaves, mistreated them, and killed them” (Matt 22:6).
Considering the plight of the man found without the wedding robe, what could be the reason for the king’s reaction? Remember that the slaves gathered all whom they found on the street. But how come it was only one man who was not with the wedding robe?
It is important to understand the cultural background of the parable first. This parable was told by a Jew to the Jews and on the Jewish soil. The wedding robe in the Jewish culture can be likened to the robe the Lay Readers wear during liturgical functions. These readers are not expected to come with the robe but to put it on before reading. No matter where a reader is going to when he/she is met with a request to read will have any excuse for not putting it on. Hence, when the king queried the man, “Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe? … he was speechless” (Matt 22:12).
We are called to be ready at all times doing what we are called to. The time the Master will call for each and every one of us will not be an excuse.
Again, during every Eucharistic celebration just before the time for the reception of the Holy Communion, the president of the assembly with Sacred Specie raised says: “Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb”. These are the true words of God through an angel, cf. Rev. 19:9. As these words are repeated everyday and everywhere the Eucharist is celebrated, what do you make out of it? Do you partake of the supper of the Lamb? If yes, how prepared are you? If no, remember these words of Jesus:
Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink (Jn 6: 53-55).
We ought to view the wedding garment not as an article of clothing. The church is not where we showcase the latest in town. We can partake of the wedding banquet of the Lamb only with the “wedding garment” on. Hence, Saint Paul insists,
Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be answerable for the body and blood of the Lord. Examine yourselves, and only then eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For all who eat and drink without discerning the body, eat and drink judgement against themselves (1Cor 11: 27-29).
Although the invitation to the banquet is gratuitously given, one must make good out of it. Both those who do not attend and those who do not prepare for it will pay for their sins, cf. Matt 22:7,13. The instruction “Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet” implies that the call to repentance is for everybody. Yet the question “Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?” implies that sinners must make something good out of the invitation. We are all sinners, cf. Rom 3:23. However God who calls us without any merit on our side expect us to come with the wedding garment. Are you ready? Remember, “… many are called, but few are chosen” (Matt 22:14). Do whatever possible to be part of that few.
Bible Reading: Mk 13:32-37; Lk 12:35-48; 14:15-24.
Thought for today
: What do you prefer to God and His call to holiness?
Let us pray: God, give me your grace to enable me always say yes to you with my words and my actions – Amen.
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Prepare now and be ready always

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