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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Sunday 28th (A) in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Isa 25:6-10a): On this mountain the Lord of hosts will provide for all peoples a feast of rich food and choice wines, juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines. On this mountain he will destroy the veil that veils all peoples, the web that is woven over all nations; he will destroy death forever.

The Lord God will wipe away the tears from every face; the reproach of his people he will remove from the whole earth; for the Lord has spoken. On that day it will be said: «Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us! This is the Lord for whom we looked; let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!». For the hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain.
Responsorial Psalm: 22
R/. I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. In verdant pastures he gives me repose; beside restful waters he leads me; he refreshes my soul.

He guides me in right paths for his name's sake. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side with your rod and your staff that give me courage.

You spread the table before me in the sight of my foes; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for years to come.
2nd Reading (Phil 4:12-14.19-20): Brothers and sisters: I know how to live in humble circumstances; I know also how to live with abundance. In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of living in abundance and of being in need. I can do all things in him who strengthens me. Still, it was kind of you to share in my distress. My God will fully supply whatever you need, in accord with his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father, glory forever and ever. Amen.
Versicle before the Gospel (Eph 1:17-18): Alleluia. May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ enlighten the eyes of our hearts, so that we may know what is the hope that belongs to our call. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Mt 22,1-14): Jesus went on speaking to the chief priests and elders in parables: «This story throws light on the kingdom of heaven. A king celebrated the wedding of his son. He sent his servants to call the invited guests to the wedding feast, but the guests refused to come. Again he sent other servants ordering them to say to the invited guests: ‘I have prepared a banquet, slaughtered my fattened calves and other animals, and now everything is ready; come then, to the wedding feast’.

»But they paid no attention and went away, some to their fields, and others to their work. While the rest seized the servants of the king, insulted them and killed them. The king became angry. He sent his troops to destroy those murderers and burn their city.

»Then he said to his servants: ‘The wedding banquet is prepared, but the invited guests were not worthy. Go, then, to the crossroads and invite everyone you find to the wedding feast’. The servants went out at once into the streets and gathered everyone they found, good and bad alike, so that the hall was filled with guests.

»The king came in to see those who were at table, and he noticed a man not wearing the festal garment. So he said to him: ‘Friend, how did you get in without the wedding garment?’. But the man remained silent. So the king said to his servants: ‘Bind his hands and feet and throw him into the dark where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth’. Know that many are called, but few are chosen».

«Go to the crossroads and invite everyone you find to the wedding feast»

Fr. Julio César RAMOS González SDB (Mendoza, Argentina)

Today, Jesus present us with the king (the Father), inviting his guests through his “servants” (the prophets) to the banquet of the Holy Alliance of his Son with Mankind (our salvation). First he did it with Israel, «but they refused to come» (Mt 22:3). Despite the refusal the Father kept on insisting: «I have prepared a banquet, (…) and now everything is ready; come then, to the wedding feast» (v. 4). But that rebuff, seizing the servants, insulting and killing them, makes the king angry, so he sent his troops to destroy the murderers and burn “their” city, (cf. Mt 22:6-7): Jerusalem.

So, consequently, through other “servants” (the apostles) —sent to «the crossroads», (Mt 22:9): «Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them…», will, our Lord Jesus, in Mt 28:19 tell them later on— we are invited, the rest of mankind, that is, «everyone they found, good and bad alike, so that the hall was filled with guests» (Mt 22:10): the Church. However, the question is not only to attend the banquet when invited, but also, and to a great extent, the dignity we may display, when at the banquet («the wedding garment», cf. v. 12). St. Jerome commented in this regard: «The marriage garment is the commandments of the Lord, and the works which are done under the Law and the Gospel, and form the clothing of the new man. That is, the deeds of Charity our faith must be accompanied of».

We know that Mother Teresa of Calcutta, used to go out every night looking for the moribund to give them, with love, a proper dying: clean, tucked in, and, if possible, baptized. Once, she said: «I'm not afraid of dying, because when I will be before the Father, there will be so many poor I gave Him with the wedding garments, that they will know how to defend me». Blessed she may be! —Let us learn that lesson, too.

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