Clothed in Faith

10-11-2020Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian

In the sacred scripture this weekend we are to reflect upon images of banquets (sometimes called dinner parties) and celebrations to come to some meaning and understanding of our relationship with God. The prophet Isaiah in his passage writes that all people, not just the selected and chosen ones, will be invited to a special banquet. It appears that this title “banquet” is inadequate in describing the special celebration that was planned. Isaiah is reminding us that when we remember all of the joy and fun found at the best party we’ve ever been to, we still only have a slight glimpse of the day God has planned. This day, this celebration will be the end of all the hurt, suffering, and sadness we have ever known. This great celebration is in honor of salvation, the victory over death.

the honor of salvation, the victory over death. In the second reading, which comes from Paul’s letter to the people who lived in Philippi, the apostle writes that he personally knows suffering and want, but also he especially knows the graciousness of their community. Paul wants them to know that they should be aware that they will have a banquet where their every need will be satisfied.

Our gospel writer Matthew writes of one of the parables given by Jesus about a banquet. This parable story illustrates and continues the theme that we are all invited to God’s eternal feast. Sadly, we learn that the very first people who were invited are quite apathetic and shrug off the gracious and freely given invitation. Provoked by their apathy and indifference, God invites a second group who are actually anyone, yes anyone, who wants to come. However, God does have a rule and expectations.

To attend, you must follow the rules, which include the dress code. In the story, only one person from the second invited group came to the feast and did not follow the rule to wear the traditional wedding gown. The man remained silent when questioned and did not offer any excuse at all. He did not seem to notice that he was not following the rules. Was it because he thought if the first group refused, then this banquet was not all that important? We do not know.

We accepted God’s invitation to be a part of the celebration or banquet of His Son. Perhaps it was our parents first at our baptism, but later we accepted on our own at Confirmation. Do we wear the traditional wedding garment of faith and service when we attend Mass, the special feast at which the Lord is present? Or are we like the first group or the man in the second group? Hopefully, we are fully and properly clothed in faith and good works.