October 11, 2008


28th Sunday - A

Matthew 22: 1 - 14

I have prepared my banquet

A great banquet for all people was a Jewish idea to describe the age of the Messiah. Jesus took the idea and made the banquet a royal wedding feast.[1] It is the king who has prepared this banquet and now he invites the guests, “Come to the feast” (v. 4).

The age of the Messiah has come among us. Though we have not yet experienced its fullness in this life, it is here. The royal wedding feast has begun, and it is an occasion of great joy. “To enter the Kingdom is as joyous a thing as to go to a banquet.”[2]

Since the Kingdom of God has begun, we do not need to wait to the next life to experience it. The Lord has already given us a foretaste of the “juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines”[3] in the Word of God and the Eucharist. From these two tables, God serves us each and every time we gather to celebrate Mass.

The Mass then should never be seen as an obligation, but a joyous event that we are privileged to have been invited. It is the King Himself who prepares the banquet and invites us to the wedding feast of His Son. That is why we celebrate.

[1] Meier, John P. Matthew. New Testament Message, Volume 3. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical, 1980; p. 247.

[2] Barclay, William. And Jesus Said: A Handbook on the Parables of Jesus. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1970; p. 152.

[3] Isaiah 25: 6 – First Reading for this Sunday.

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