Homily 28th Sunday Ordinary Time Year A - The heavenly banquet.

Homily (sermon)
The Heavenly Banquet

Readings for the twenty eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time Year A:
Isaiah 25:6-10, Psalm 22, Philippians 4:12-14,19-20, Matthew 22:1-14

[All these readings can be found at www.universalis.com for the next few weeks. Remember to scroll down for the readings of the day.]

We are invited today to banquet of rich food and fine wine. A banquet that will be held on God’s mountain. At this banquet death and shame will be lifted from us, our sadness turned to joy, our tears wiped away. We will live like Adam and Eve in paradise. We are today invited to share heaven with God.

Do you like the sound of that?

Do you think you will RSVP to that invitation?

Will you go to the banquet?

Jesus was very worried that we wouldn’t come, that we would lose our way and get distracted. That this world would get in the way, that we wouldn’t believe the invitation. So he told the priests and elders a couple of parables. In the first parable the king calls those invited to the banquet but they don’t come and even worse attack the kings messengers. That’s easy to interpret, it’s aimed at Gods chosen people Israel, as they turn their back on God and don’t accept his invitation. Then wonderfully God offers the invitation to everyone, to us the gentiles, we are now able to come to Gods heavenly banquet.

The second parable strikes me much harder, I don’t like it. It seems unfair. The people now come and enjoy the banquet, but one man isn’t wearing a wedding garment and just because of his clothes is thrown out. That scares me as I want to be at that banquet, I want to stay at that banquet, I don’t want to be thrown out. How do I ensure I wear the right clothes?

Well the clothes represent your life, or at least your life since accepting the invitation, your life since you accepted the gift of grace. Your clothes and your life are washed white at baptism, kept clean by the life you lead and the sacraments, particularly reconciliation and the Eucharist.

We all do wrong, we all sin, we all ruin the clothes we will wear to the banquet. God knows that, which is why he never stops forgiving, never stops showering us in grace. By accepting his grace we become responsible for our lives, we must try and live lives worthy of that grace, to be proud and grateful for the clothes God has given us. Clothes that through Grace, are so easy to clean so easy to repair.

The next question is then what should I be doing in my new clothes. Well today’s psalm can help, psalm 22, is one of my favourites. It’s often read at baptisms and speaks wonderfully of the lifelong protection God provides. Today the last verse has stood out for me, I have often drawn comfort from the line, “Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me all the days of my life.” But today I read it differently; today I found a challenge it that line. Maybe it means I am challenged to provided goodness and kindness all of my days, it follows me because I am supposed to leave a trail of goodness and kindness. If I dwell with the lord, my life is His, I have a responsibility to live a life filled with the grace he has given me. When I fail I can always turn back to Him and always be forgiven, but when I succeed what differences can I make to this damaged world, how can I do my bit to help Gods kingdom come, on earth as it is at the banquet on that mountain in heaven.

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