October 11, 2020

The prophet Isaiah speaks about a mountain where God has prepared a banquet of rich delights. There He will destroy death forever and wipe away all tears. It is a foreshadowing of the invitation to the kingdom which is the theme of Jesus’ parable in today’s gospel. From this gospel emerges certain truths about the kingdom: it will come someday no matter what, but it will happen at a time we least expect, the invitation to be a part of the kingdom is inclusive, a dress code will be required, all are called but few will be chosen – Matt.22:14. Yes, whether we like it or not, God’s reign will come, as we do indeed pray each day, ‘Thy kingdom come.’ It is not something that we can wish away. Yet, there is no point spending our lives anxious about when it will come. Instead we must live each day as though it was our last and in the awareness that tomorrow is not promised. We are all invited to the banquet of the kingdom, the good the bad and the not so good. All are invited. Even so, each guest will be required to put on the wedding garment as they come. This garment will not be made of any particular color, neither white nor black, nor brown nor purple. It is a cloak of righteousness and virtuousness. Those who show up not properly dressed will be thrown out to a place of darkness where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth- Matt.13:42. Our lives each day must be spent in the pursuit of virtues, the things that matter. Such virtues include a loving relationship with one another, empathy and compassion for those who suffer, justice for the oppressed and hope for those who live in despair. These are proper garments or the pass codes that will guarantee us access to that banquet on God’s holy mountain. The pursuit of virtues is not an easy task. It requires lots of sacrifices to the point that it hurts. Nonetheless, Saint Paul reminds us in today’s second reading that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. To Him be all the glory forever and ever, Amen.

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