Contributed by Phil Ezeogu
Today’s Inspirational Snippet: “Let nothing Disturb you, Let nothing frighten you, Though all things pass, God does not change. Patience wins all things. But he lacks nothing who possesses God; For God alone suffices.” Reflection for 28th Sunday Ordinary Time October 15th, 2017 Today’s Readings: Isaiah 25: 6-10b Psalm 23: 1-3, 3-4, 5, 6 Philippians 4: 12-14, 19-20 Matthew 22: 1-14 Pope’s Intentions for October 2017: Workers and the Unemployed – That all workers may receive respect and protection of their rights, and that the unemployed may receive the opportunity to contribute to the common good. October 2017: Month of the Most Holy Rosary Prayer of the Day: St. Teresa of Avila Saint Quote of Today: – “Desire to see God, be fearful of losing Him, and find joy in everything that can lead to Him. If you act in this way, you will always live in great peace.” – St. Teresa of Avila GOD’S GRACE IS A GIFT AND A RESPONSIBILITY Today, we heard the words of the Sacred Scriptures, about a banquet feast which surpasses all other celebrations. To this feast, people of all nations have been invited. This feast will be a time to celebrate the splendor of our God. The Gospel informs us that some people who have been invited either refuse to come or do not come in the way in which they are expected to come. The often quoted twenty-third psalm also presents us with a celebration where the Lord has spread a table before us and where the cup overflows. Paul expresses his thanks to the community who has provided for him during his imprisonment. What can a royal wedding party tell us about God’s kingdom? Whose interests come first – God or mine? Why does Jesus’ parable of the marriage feast seem to focus on an angry king who ends up punishing those who refused his invitation and who mistreated his servants? Are you ready to feast at the Lord’s banquet table? Life is full of opportunities knocking at our doors waiting to be opened. Invitation Is an example of opportunities knocking at our door to be opened. The insistence of wearing wedding garments is a warning for each one of us about the future to come. So we must clothe ourselves in the garment of virtuous living or a good life. Mere membership in the church or in religious organizations and church ministries or charitable institutions does not guarantee us salvation. To own salvation, we must have a virtuous living. In the first reading, the Prophet Isaiah spoke of the great vision of God for humanity. Why is a banquet an appropriate imagery of heaven? When there is food, there is pleasure and joy. So right from the outset, this dream of God for humanity is a wonderful dream. Heaven on earth and in heaven is a beautiful place to be in. The Good News that Jesus comes to offer is the Good News of life, love and joy. It is the Good News that all will have a share in the life and love of God. For this reason, the Good News that Jesus came to offer us is given to all. Regardless of whether we are Jews or Gentiles, rich or poor, influential or marginalized. However, we read that they rejected the prophets who invited them on behalf of God to the Mountain of Jerusalem. But for most people, when they are invited to come to the banquet and the house of God, they appear to have valid excuses. Most people belong to this category. For those of us who are regular Church goers, the tragedy does not lie in the fact that we did not receive the invitation of God to come to the wedding feast. Indeed, we are here like those who were called from the wayside. The real tragedy lies in the fact that we come to the wedding feast without the wedding garment. We too must also ask ourselves whether we have kept the baptismal garment given to us free from stain and that we put it on every day in our lives. Indeed, if we are Catholic, we cannot carry on living a life of the world, a life of immorality and selfishness. The consequence of rejecting the grace of God or not receiving it responsibly is not so much the punishment of God but the deprivation of joy in our lives. That was how St Paul lived his life after knowing Christ. Brothers and Sisters, let us all therefore pray, and pray fervently that we may be able, and that we may have the necessary courage to follow the Lord wholeheartedly in all that we say and do. Let us all renew our commitment to the Lord, and follow Him from now on with the full sincerity of our hearts. Today, let each one of us, respond to God’s love, we will accept willingly any difficulty or hardship that comes our way.