This Sunday, all the readings have images of a banquet, feast, generosity, and hospitality. In the first reading, God promises to prepare a banquet of rich food and wine and save his people. This image of the banquet is joyful because the banquet accompanies a wedding feast, the covenant of love between God and his people. To revive the lost joy and hope of Israel, prophet Isaiah raised his voice to assure them of the Lord’s promise of a feast. Similarly, in the gospel, Jesus evokes the image of a wedding feast through a parable. The parable contains different characters such as The Chief Priests, the Elders, the servants, guests, called guests, and a man without a wedding garment. This invitation invokes some human response in this parable, the refusal of those invited caused the extension of invitation that properly fits the word “call” to all in this case. The true meaning of this is that God’s love conquers every evil, and our open hearts to God’s love gives us the power to overcome all evil in our world, bring change, and joyful experience of God’s reign.
The Jews, especially their leaders, were invited into God’s reign of grace, change, joy, and freedom, but they were not ready and willing to accept that invitation. On the contrary, they criticized Jesus, persecuted him, and rejected him. They missed the opportunity to enter and become active participants in the kingdom of joy, mercy, and goodness. While the Gentiles took the advantage opportunity extended to them, they repented and became the joyful participants in God’s reign of joy and freedom.
How do the parable, the images, and characters speak to us? Biblically, the garment symbolizes the heart of a person, and the feast, a life of love, joy, and grace. God indeed invites us to experience His love, mercy, and grace in many ways. So too, he expects us to help others experience that same love and mercy, grace, and change our world into his joyful, peaceful, and free environment for all to thrive. Together with the Psalmist and Paul, let us echo God’s generous hospitality and during this Missionary month of October, renew our missionary efforts as individuals, groups, and communities, and clothe others with love and compassion, joy, and peace.
Christian Action This Week: Make someone genuinely happy: Share a meal, take a walk together, sing, and laugh together.