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It Is Christ Himself Who Invites Us PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 18 August 2010 14:42
It is Christ himself who invites us. In many of Our Lord’s parables we find an insistent invitation to us all, to each one according to his or her own circumstances. Today we read about a king who prepares a wedding feast for his son and sends out his servants to call those who have been invited (Matt 22:1-14). The image of the banquet was quite familiar to the Jewish people: the Prophets had foretold that with the coming of the Messiah Yahweh would prepare a wondrous feast for all nations: He would get ready a feast of fat things, a feast of wine on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wine on the lees well refined (Is 25:6). The banquet signifies the plenitude of goodness that flows from the Incarnation and the Redemption, and the priceless gift of the Blessed Eucharist. In this parable Jesus illustrates how we often respond coldly and indifferently to God’s generosity: He sent his servants to call the guests, but they didn’t want to come. In Our Lord’s telling of this parable there is a note of sadness, foreseeing as He does the many excuses that will be made to him over the centuries. The carefully prepared food stays on the table and the room remains empty, because Jesus does not compel anyone to come. The king sends his servants out once more: Tell those who are invited, Behold, I have made ready my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves am killed, and everything is ready; come to the marriage feast. However, the guests pay not the slightest heed: one goes off to his farm, another to whatever else is his business. Others not only reject the invitation but revolt against the king: The rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. They react violently to the invitation of Love. Jesus calls us to come closer to him, to a greater level of commitment and confidence. Every day He invites us to the table He has prepared. He both invites us and gives himself as food - the great banquet is, of course, a symbol of Holy Communion. Jesus himself is the food we need for our sustenance; He is the remedy for our daily needs,3 without which our souls would weaken and die. Jesus awaits us everyday, hidden under the appearances of bread, so that we can go and receive him full of love and gratitude. The wedding is ready, He tells us; but many are absent, because they don’t appreciate the most wonderful marvel of the Blessed Eucharist. They respond to Our Lord’s invitation with a variety of silly excuses because they don’t appreciate what love there is in every Communion. Saint John Chrysostom exhorts us: Consider the great honour done to you, and the table of which you partake. He whom the angels tremble to behold, unable to look upon him face to face because of the brightness He radiates, is the one with whom we feed ourselves, mingling with Him and becoming one body and flesh with Christ (St John Chrysostom, Homilies on St Matthew’s Gospel, 82, 4). With permission from Scepter UK. Short excerpt from IN CONVERSATION WITH GOD by Francis Fernandez. To subscribe or unsubscribe, please email info@defensoresfidei.com. The DEFENSORES FIDEI FOUNDATION actively spreads Ecclesial Information, Catechetical Instructions and Apologetics in pursuit of making good Catholics better Catholics. Any contribution to help this apostolate is heaven-sent and now TAX-DEDUCTIBLE (in USA). Please visit us at www.defensoresfidei.com.
 

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"I planted some bird seed. A bird came up. Now I don't know what to feed it."--Steven Wright