Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)
The Church encourages us to ground ourselves on the Word of God, because He is the only real One and the Truth that matters in a world that will pass away. In October 2008 at the opening of the 12th Ordinary General Assembly of Synod of Bishops, the Holy Father reflected on “The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church,” and he wrote that
the Word of God is the foundation of everything, it is the true reality. And to be realistic, we must rely upon this reality…. At the end of the Sermon on the Mount the Lord speaks to us about the two possible foundations for building the house of one’s life: sand and rock. The one who builds on sand builds only on visible and tangible things, on success, on career, on money. Apparently these are the true realities. But all this one day will pass away…. The one who builds his life on these realities, on matter, on success, on appearances, builds upon sand. Only the Word of God is the foundation of all reality, it is as stable as the heavens and more than the heavens, it is reality. Therefore, we must change our concept of realism. The realist is the one who recognizes the Word of God, in this apparently weak reality, as the foundation of all things. Realist is the one who builds his life on this foundation, which is permanent (Benedict XVI, Oct. 6, 2008, http://www.vatican.va).
Our readings today present to us these distinct points:
1. Every Christian is called and invited to the joy of the banquet of the Son of God. This invitation to the banquet is not only a gift to be received; it is a grace that carries a great responsibility. The Christian has to realize that he is not worthy of a call from the God whom he has offended by his sins, but in His mercy God desires that man returns to Him and gain eternal life. The Christian is called to be a saint, not to remain a sinner in God’s family. Man is invited to come and see where Jesus lives. He has to come to Jesus, see Jesus and imitate Jesus.
2. Every Christian has to be prepared when the King calls him to the banquet. An ordinary human voice simply fades away, but it can make or break relationships; it can make history. The voice that calls is that of a Person, and the Word is a Person, who invites us to make Him alive in our relationships. Preparation to respond to the call is a daily endeavor. The King cannot wait; the Kingdom cannot wait; the Kingdom is at hand. A Christian who thinks that the arrival of the King will take a long time is like the five foolish virgins who were invited to the wedding but came unprepared. The Christian has to prepare himself for life with the Lord, and to be a saint.
3. Every Christian has to wear his/her garment for the banquet. Though I really believe that we should come to the Banquet of the Lord decently clothed, this garment is not only an outer outfit; it is the garment of the mind and the heart: the garment of humility, of respect and reverence, of faith, hope and love, of expectation for the blessings of God. Too often we come unprepared to celebrate the Eucharist. We fill ourselves with worries, with concerns for the things that we want to do, with small and judgmental talks against others, with just other things that make us uneasy during the celebration of the Eucharist. We put on the garments of the world, rather than the garment of holiness.
The man who had no wedding garments had to be thrown outside for he was not worthy of the king’s presence. In the same manner, no person is invited to the Banquet of the Lord to remain a sinner or mediocre, but to be converted, to grow and to be a saint.
Should we listen intently to the Word of the Lord, should we prepare ardently for the call of the Lord, and should we graciously celebrate the banquet of the Lord, we can proclaim with St. Paul: “I can do all things in him who strengthens me” (Phil 4: 13).
With the guidance of Mother Mary, our Lady of the Rosary, let us prepare ourselves daily, listen to the Word and obey His commands, transform our hearts radically, and receive Him joyfully in the Eucharist. God will supply our needs. Then we can proclaim boldly: “I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.”