Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Word on the Word

Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time A

Reading I: Isaiah 25:6-10a
Reading II: Philippians 4:12-14, 19-20
Gospel: Matthew 22:1-14 or 22:1-10

There's a great wedding reception in this coming Sunday's Gospel and an invitation to a lavish feast in the day's first reading, taken from Isaiah.

The first scripture reading this weekend describes a great feast and its menu but the greatest offering here is something much greater than the specials!

The Gospel tells the story of a wedding and who's invited, who shows up and who gets bounced.

The king in the story first invited the worthy, who proved themselves unworthy, and received worse treatment than the lout who was later tossed out.

Then the king called everyone to the wedding feast. Many came, thankful to be there and happy to uphold the necessary standards.

And one guy got tossed.

Lessons to be learned: First, all people have been invited to the table.

God, the true king of heaven, invites us - the good and the bad and the in between - to his heavenly affair. We are all called, all invited and all urged to ready ourselves for the heavenly banquet.

Second, there is a dress code, and we better not forget it. The ticket is free, but we better know what to wear. This means donning the garments of salvation and the righteousness of Christ, because if we expect to attend this affair with the rags we have in our closets of self-importance, self-righteousness, self-conceit, we'll get bounced out of the event on our cans. God's invitation, as extravagant and as open as it is, carries responsibility.

The kingdom model is outward, inclusive, welcoming, beckoning, inviting and open. It is also about service, not about being served.

God is calling us to be his guest. We'd be wise to show up.