Maria Kozakiewicz

WORD MADE FLESH

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time – October 12, 2014
Isaiah 25.6-10 | Psalm 23 | Philippians 4.12-14, 19-20 | Matthew 22.1-14
October 6, 2014

He (the king) dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast, but they refused to come."

The guests should come to the feast. The ancient world was not as well fed as we are, at least those who live in the West today. Every five years or so, people starved, due to drought, excessive rain or war. Even at the best of times, daily meals were simple. Often months would pass with little or no meat on the table. That is why a feast became the universal symbol of heavenly delights.

The wedding feast, of all feasts, was supreme. There was dancing and singing, but above all, the occasion was all about joy, love and hope for the future. To receive an invitation to a royal wedding was an immense privilege. Through your sharing in the joy of the king, you became part of the inner circle, almost a family member of the king.

On this mountain, the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines. - Isaiah 25.6

'On this mountain, the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines.

Isaiah 25.6

Some of the invited "ignored the invitation and went away, one to his farm, another to his business." Others got angry and killed the messengers.

Now, what about us, in our times? Why are so many churches half empty on Sundays? Why do most kids who attend Catholic schools not go to Sunday Mass? Why are religious vocations so few, despite the efforts of our bishops and vocation directors?

Why are we ourselves so sluggish and indifferent in God's service? Why are we more afraid of what people will think than with what God thinks of our cowardly ways at work and at home that prevent us from witnessing to our faith? Why do we refuse God's invitations?

Some do not have a religious background or enough spiritual sensitivity to have an appetite for heaven. They will refuse the king's feast because they are too busy counting calories and carbs and checking for harmful chemicals.

For us baptized Catholics, the acceptance of the invitation to the king's wedding translates to attendance at Sunday Mass and receiving the sacraments. Without these, we wither and fall off within months.

Funny that so many think the Mass and sacraments are only for ideal Catholics, perfect married couples, innocent little girls in white dresses and the old who are in a post-sinful stage of life. Nothing is more wrong.

If your marriage is on the rocks or has already disintegrated, go to church. Who will understand you and love you still, despite your sins and problems? Only God will. So come and sit before the tabernacle, cry out your pain, beg for help. Things impossible for humans are possible for God.

If you have slipped into alcoholism, drugs or another addiction, go to church. Who will lead you out of the dark valley and give you strength? If you have killed, if you have broken all Ten Commandments, come to church.

This is your refuge. This is the only true and lasting home. Here we all are loved and safe.