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12 October 2014: Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Respect Life Sunday

Whomsoever you find invite to the wedding

“A banquet... is an outstanding moment of fellowship. In the traditions of Israel, familiar to Matthew’s community, the blessings promised by God to those who have been faithful were likened to sharing in a banquet at the Lord’s table – as we hear in the reading from Isaiah in today’s liturgy.

As they heard this reading, and rejoiced in its fulfilment in Christ, this community would have given thanks for the universality of God’s generous designs: ‘all peoples and nations’ will share in God’s blessings ‘everywhere on earth’, the prophet declares. Already, they knew, the faith was beginning to spread. Long familiar with the biblical themes, they would have seen the prophet’s associating of the messianic blessings with, ‘this mountain’ as a reference to the old temple. But if, as is likely, the old temple had already been destroyed by the Romans (AD 70) when Matthew’s gospel was written, they would have been reminded that the shared life of Old Testament faith was only a foreshadowing of the eternal realities brought by Christ.

Matthew’s account includes the note of urgency characteristic of the outlook of the first Christians – three times, the king declares that all is ‘ready’. The final age has come, all must be ready to respond to the Lord’s call. And so, along the same lines, Matthew concludes his presentation by adding the short parable about ‘the man without a wedding garment’ – that would originally have been quite independent of the original story. Again the lesson is clear: although, in the present age, Matthew’s Church receives ‘the good and bad alike’ to rejoice at the wedding feast of the Lamb, let them know that their presence must be more than nominal adherence – they must be converted and live a life worthy of their calling.”

Fr John Thornhill SM | Image from pixabay.com

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