Is 25:6-10; Phil4:12-14, 19-20; Matt 22:1-10
Life is full of opportunities knocking at our doors waiting to be opened. It is full of chances by which we can enjoy life to the fullest. But they are not always there forever. We have to grab the opportunity while we have the time and the chance or else, we ended up blaming, not others, but ourselves. Invitation Is an example of opportunities knocking at our door to be opened. But instead of us getting off our feet to open the door, we complain about the noise.
Fr. Apalisok told story of a young man who went to other places in search of fortune. A few years later, he returned to his place with several passenger jeeps loaded with riches. “Now, I am going to play a trick on my relatives and friends,” he said to himself. He donned some rugged clothes and went to see his cousin Pedro, first. ”I’m your long lost cousin, Juan. I’m back home after several years in other places. Just look at me how miserable I am. May I stay with you for a while?” he said.
Pedro said: “I’m sorry, but there is no room here for you.”
Juan visited some of his relatives and friends but he was not accepted any of them. So he decided and returned to where he put his riches, dressed himself in luxurious clothes, rode through his place with a large entourage of servants and purchased all those businesses about to close down and bought a majestic mansion. After only two days, the news of his riches had spread all over the place. “Who could have imagined it,” said one of the relatives and friends who rejected him, “if we had only known, we would have acted differently, but it is too late now. We missed the riches.”
In today’s gospel, Jesus tells us the parable of the wedding feast prepared by a king for his son. Calves and fattened cattle were killed and a long list of guests is drawn up which includes the wealthiest and most respected people in the kingdom. Clearly, he wants a wedding feast that will be remembered with joy by his son and the prospective daughter-in-law. When everything is ready, the invited guests are summoned to come. But they refused to come. Instead, they pursued their own travel and work plans. The king resorted to an unheard move; he invited all kinds of people. Can you imagine a powerful leader inviting laborers, farmers, fishermen, urban poor and even beggars and others to a wedding celebration?
But there yet is another surprise. All are invited – sinners and righteous, unworthy and worthy persons but not all are allowed to stay. Jesus explains that though the Kingdom of God is open to all, accepting the invitation means accepting the responsibility and challenge of Christian discipleship. If we accept the invitation, we must put on “wedding garments,” (v. 11). The insistence of wearing wedding garments is a warning for each one of us about the future to come. So we must clothe ourselves in the garment of virtuous living or a good life. Mere membership in the church or in religious organizations and church ministries or charitable institutions does not guarantee us salvation. To own salvation, we must have a virtuous living.
There are several signs by which we may lose that invitation by God to be in His Kingdom. Like such attitudes and actions as: “I will not attend or hear mass because I have to do my laundry today”; “I will not attend Mass this Sunday because I have unfinished business transaction, anyway, I’ll attend next Sunday”; “I’ll not attend the meeting this Sunday because it’s our family day and our household meeting or not feeling well or I’ll go to the market, anyway Christ will understand my situation.” By saying, “Christ will understand my situation,” we are bribing God in presenting to Him our situation and yet we are given so much time and opportunities to do all those things. We hurt God.
For me, the proper response by us to this invitation by God an to have a virtuous living as our wedding garment is like this: first, we must have the 4 GH, that is, Good Head or continue doing the intellectual formation, Good Health or takes care of your own health, Good Hand or do the work properly and Good Heart or have kindness, generosity, love and others for other people.
Second, as I was told in my other homilies, we must drink the Christian BEER or read the B-ible regularly, attend the E-ucharist and receive the Body and Blood of Christ as our spiritual food of our souls, do an E-xpression of love especially to those that nobody love them, and love our mother Mary by saying the R-osary daily.
Lastly, I also mentioned this in one of my homilies about Fr. Jerry Orbos’ BAGETSSS found in his book, Shared Moments, that we must always be like this, that is: Balik Panginoon (or Return to God). Whenever we fall, make a good confession; Alis galit (or free yourself from angry). Do not carry useless junk and heavy metals in your heart. Forgive!; Gawa mabuti (or do good deeds). While you live, help, share, give and do good; Express your love to anybody. Take time to relate with our God. Let people especially our loved ones, know and feel our love for them; Tanggal Bisyo (or get rid of vices). Tke the “road less gtravelled,” the road of clean living, sanctity and holiness; Sakripisyo (or sacrifice). Take up the spirit of penance in your life; Smile or do everything with joy; Secret or do everything with love that seeks not recognition or vain glory. And I will add another S, that is, Sure. Let us make it sure that we will everything stated above.
Think about this because God is sending out His invitation to us with a note: RSVP (Respondez S’il vous Plait) – Please reply!
See Today’s Readings: Cycle A