Sunday Sipping: 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading: Isaiah 25:6-10a
Psalm 23:1-6
Second Reading: Philippians 4:12-14, 19-20
Gospel: Matthew 22:1-14

This coming Sunday’s readings employ one of my favorite images of the Kingdom of God and God’s providence, i.e. the wedding feast. I repeat: the wedding FEAST! The First Reading from Isaiah tantalizes us with the promise of “juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines,” and in the Gospel, we are treated to descriptions of “calves and fattened cattle” that are prepped for the feast. Now those are metaphors at their finest!

What does the food represent? To the Christian, the rich food symbolizes God’s grace, through which we share in God’s very life. Grace is God’s providence, supplying all that we need. Grace is the secret to living that St. Paul writes of in the Second Reading. No matter the circumstance in which you find yourself, even though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, God’s grace empowers you to live a life pleasing to Him and in line with His plan for you. Through grace, God saved, saves, and will save us.

What a banquet! How generous is God to us in His invitation! Yet partaking in this richest of fare comes with a price. We are invited and so we must respond, not with mere words or sentiment, but with our whole lives. The man who did not wear a wedding garment symbolizes those who do not put on Christ, those who refuse to change their lives after seemingly accepting Christ’s invitation. Concerning this ill-dressed guest, Saint Augustine writes, “[He] goes to the feast without a garment, who goes seeking his own, and not the Bridegroom's honor.” Let us seek His honor, brothers and sisters. Let us celebrate the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, in word and deed.

God the Father cordially invites you to the Wedding Feast of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in Whom humanity and Divinity are married! What will your R.S.V.P. be? Oh, and if you say yes, make sure you’re dressed properly.