Homily – Fr. Michael – October 11, 2020


This Sunday’ parable is the third of a series. Two Sundays ago we heard of how repentant sinners will enter the kingdom of heaven before the supposedly righteous ones. Last Sunday we heard of how those given supervision of a vineyard plotted to appropriate it for themselves. Today we hear of invitations to a royal wedding banquet. Clearly our parable is about God summoning, inviting guests to the marriage feast for his Son Jesus.

There is something wonderfully comprehensive about this parable, the way it includes not only the history of the chosen people but the whole of the human family for a banquet that is to satisfy their greatest needs and expectations. As we heard in the first reading from Isaiah, “the Lord of hosts will provide for all peoples a feast of rich food…and pure, choice wines. On this mountain God will destroy the veil that veils all peoples…will destroy death forever… will wipe away the tears from every face.”

St Paul experienced this already during this life, telling us of how he “learned the secret of being well fed and going hungry, of living in abundance and of being in need. I can do all things in him who strengthens me.” Paul has accepted joyously the invitation to the wedding feast of Lamb, where God will satisfy our deepest desires “in accord with his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” He experienced the wonderful graciousness of God, the union of God’s very Son with all of the human family, making us sharers in divine life.

It is a wedding feast prepared for all of us gathered here, a wedding feast offered all day long if we dare to open our hearts to it. It calls us to conversion of heart, a death to self so as to live in Christ’s own love. As Pope Francis warns us in one of his own sermons on this parable:

“Some of the intended guests went so far as to abuse and kill the servants who delivered the invitationBut despite the lack of response from those called, God’s plan is never interrupted. In facing the rejection of those first invited, He is not discouraged, He does not cancel the feast, but makes another invitation, expanding it beyond all reasonable limits, and sends his servants into the town squares and the byways to gather anyone they find. These, however, are ordinary, poor, neglected and marginalized people, good and bad alike — even bad people are invited — without distinction. And the hall is filled with “the excluded”. The Gospel, rejected by some, is unexpectedly welcomed in many other hearts.

We are all invited, whatever our weaknesses and limitations may be. What I find especially moving in Pope Francis’s words is how “God’s plan is never interrupted.” God is ever reaching out into our world of today but it takes the eyes of faith, the wedding garment of a spiritual sense to honestly respond to God’s design.

Just how real and personal this invitation is, is manifest in our Eucharistic celebration each day. At this altar God’s very own Son shares with each and all of us his very Body and Blood for the feast and we join the Hosts of heaven in a wedding banquet. Offered under the appearance of bread and wine tells of how infinitely close the wedding feast is to every aspect of our lives. Our simple and hidden lives become the beginnings of a feast that will last for all eternity.     Amen