The Big Feast – Willy Samson, SJ

Matthew 22:1-14, 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time22449736_1856643511016984_4761063417421124361_n

The Gospel today describes God as generous, loving and caring. He is a laboring God who thinks not of himself, but of us. Then he even prepares a big banquet for us – to feed us with plenty and nourish us with his heavenly feast! When we think of God’s love, we think of him feeding us in grand style!

But human as we are, we tend to ignore or take for granted the countless blessings being offered to us by God. He is constantly offering his love, forgiveness and salvation to us. He wants us to commune with him and enjoy his everlasting presence. But sad to say, we tend to ignore his invitation to enjoy his eternal banquet.

The Gospel today gives us three reasons why we tend to ignore God’s love in exchange to lesser things: earthly possessions, daily preoccupations and our arrogance. We prioritize these things rather than God, thinking that his love and forgiveness is limitless, and He will always accept us anytime. But this is not always the case. Yes, God is love, but he’s also a God of justice.

Our Gospel reading gives hints that God’s love has its limits to anyone who abuses his generosity by continually rejecting his invitation to love him. God could shift his eyes to anyone who desires to commune with him: “Go to the main crossroads and invite everyone you can find to come to the wedding, bad and good alike.”

Unfortunately, not everyone who responds to God’s invitation is assured of a place in God’s eternal banquet. In spite of his generosity and warm welcome to everyone, he still expects everyone to wear the garment of righteousness. We have our responsibility to fulfill. For our God is not only a God of love, but a God of righteousness. He will demand from us to live a holy life.

Where are you now? Where do you find yourselves in the groups mentioned in our Gospel? Are you in the first group? So engrossed and preoccupied with  worldly possessions and things of lesser things? Are you in the second group? Those who quickly responded to his invitation to commune with him. Or are you part of the third group? Those who responded to God’s invitation, yet failed to live a holy life, thinking that God would not mind their wretchedness, as long as they believe in him.

The great feast in heaven is waiting for us. God is giving us a lifetime to respond to his invitation to join the eternal celebration. Let’s strive to live a holy life. For no one will be allowed to the banquet without wearing the garment of righteousness.

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