28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A – Homily

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A
Isaiah 25:6-10a
Psalm 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6, (6cd)
Philippians 4:12-14, 19-20
Matthew 22:1-14
October 15, 2023

We say we are disciples of Christ but what does this mean?

In secular terms a disciple is a student of a master.  Jesus is the teacher we are his students. 

As disciples of Christ, we place our trust in him who will place us in “verdant pastures…besides restful waters.”  We certainly want these but if we want these, we must allow the Lord to guide us in right paths.  We need to listen to what Jesus teaches and live in accord with it.

Perhaps the most well-known verse from the Book of Psalms is 23:1, “The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.”  Some seem to think this means they will get everything they want

Do you really think God should give you everything you want?

People can want a lot.  I don’t think God cares if you are monetarily rich.  God wants everyone to have a safe and warm place to live but God isn’t interested in providing you with a mansion or a massive bank account.

The verse, “there is nothing I shall want,” is not about getting everything we want.  If we give ourselves to Jesus as his disciples, it can change what we want.  With our desires shaped by Christ, we no longer want some of the things that many people seek.

It is in truly giving ourselves to Christ that we come to see how our cup overflows with the riches of his grace.  We see that the “The LORD of hosts” provides us with a feast of “rich food and choice wines.”  We will share in a great heavenly banquet with God.

Jesus speaks of the wedding feast a king offered for his son.  Why a wedding feast?  They were big celebrations, lasting days.  Jesus is the bridegroom.  His bride is the church.

Long before Jesus became incarnate in the flesh, God had promised to his people, the Jews, that He would send a Messiah.  God invited the Jews to a great banquet that would come.

Now, with the coming of Jesus it is time for the banquet.  The Jews should be rejoicing.  However, when they are told the Messiah has come, some ignore the invitation while others persecute Jesus and his disciples. 

It was some of the Jews that sought the death of Jesus.  So, the invitation to the banquet was extended to everyone, whomever his servants could find, “bad and good alike.

So, everyone gets into Heaven right?  Nope!

A man came to the wedding banquet “not dressed in a wedding garment.”  You might think this shouldn’t be a surprise since he didn’t know he was invited. 

Yes, he didn’t know he was going to be invited but when he was, to enter into Heaven, he still needed to give himself to the Lord, to clothe himself in Christ.

Jesus loves you enough to meet you where you are at, “bad and good alike.”  However, He loves you too much to leave you in your sin. 

As disciples we are called to live humbling in the riches of God’s grace.  The Lord will give us what we need.  If we follow Christ, one day we will share in the heavenly banquet of rich foods and choice wines.  Here on earth, if we give ourselves to Christ, we share in the meal that is the Eucharist, bread and wine transubstantiated into the Body and Blood of Christ, food for our soul.

Being a disciple must change the way we live.  What Jesus teaches us should change the way we live. 

Knowing that Jesus has died for us destroys “the veil that veils all peoples…he will destroy death forever.”  Knowing that Jesus died for us and after his Resurrection appeared to his disciples so that we would all know what it means to rise should change the way we see the world.  Death no longer has power over us.

You know that Jesus died for you.  If you want to be his disciple, you must listen to what He teaches and follow him by living in accord with his teaching.

If you want to know more about discipleship, I’m starting a series next week on discipleship.  You will find the information in the bulletin.  You can sign up to attend by webinar at https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_-1ncSptURpK5-hJ7AkAlUw

For now, ask yourself, “Are you living in a way that is pleasing to God?”.

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