The kingdom of heaven is meant for God’s children everywhere and they need to know that…
Reflections on the readings for the Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time (October 11, 2020): IS 25:6-10; PS 23:1-3,4,5,6; PHIL 4:12-14,19-20; MT 22:1-14
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
While Jesus came to reveal Himself first to the Jewish people, He is fulfilling the will of our Eternal Father by welcoming the whole world to His kingdom.
In the Gospel for today, Jesus once again addresses the religious leaders who have been confronting Him as well as the many other people who gather to hear what He has to say. And once again He tells them about the kingdom of heaven through a parable. This time a king sends his servants to let his invited guests know that the wedding feast for his son is ready. The guests either ignore, attack, or even kill the messengers, and the king responds by destroying them and their city. “Then he said to his servants, ‘The feast is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy to come. Go out, therefore, into the main roads and invite to the feast whomever you find.’ The servants went out into the streets and gathered all they found, bad and good alike, and the hall was filled with guests” (Matthew 22:8-10). The parable ends when the king notices a guest who was not properly dressed for the occasion and has him thrown out of the feast. Christ concludes by telling His listeners that “many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14).
It is certainly an uncomfortable story for the priests and elders who realize that they are numbered among the original guests who do not heed the king. But they are not the only ones. While Jesus came to reveal Himself first to the Jewish people, He is fulfilling the will of our Eternal Father by welcoming the whole world to His kingdom. Yet because our Creator has endowed us with free will, we must choose for ourselves whether or not we accept or reject Christ. More than that, we must prepare and “dress” ourselves for the final feast through lives of virtue, fidelity, and charity. This reading reminds us that in order to embrace God’s invitation, people must first hear His message of love and salvation. In the many centuries since our Redeemer told this parable to that crowd, He has sent out many to proclaim the Good News to those who do not yet know Him. Every follower of Christ has an obligation to live and share our faith. And some men and women take up His ministry as missionaries throughout the world. We need to acknowledge and support them in this vital God-given work.
In this week before World Mission Sunday, we pray for priests, religious Sisters and Brothers, and lay pastoral leaders who continue to invite all throughout the Pope’s missions to the Lord’s table, to be welcomed into the Church. Next Sunday, World Mission Sunday, we join them in these efforts, through our prayers and financial help.
For resources for the celebration of World Mission Sunday, visit this website.