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Preaching: English A - B C / ѱ*Korean *A *B *C Spanish A B - C

A - 28th Sunday in the Ordinary Time

1st. Is. 25,6-10. "God as Savior promising a Messianic banquet."
* Psalm 23. "Dwelling with the Lord."
2nd. Phil. 4,12-14. 19-20. "Sharing in Hardships."
Gospel Mt. 22, 1-14. "The Wedding Banquet."

The Banquet is Ready

A banquet, that is, eating, drinking, and sharing time together is a traditional way to express friendship and share happy events. After all, it is only at nice occasions like anniversaries, birthdays and some kind of victory that people gather to celebrate and party. Especially in older times, more than the eating and drinking, the socializing and sharing of friendly atmosphere were emphasized. Accordingly, only when differences and other personal barriers were broken down was it possible to sit down and seal the amicable relationship with a banquet. In such a moment of sharing with friends, one can easily relax, find solace and peace, forgetting at least momentarily all his/her problems and hardships.

Similarly, in biblical literature a banquet is a sign of closeness, of intimate friendship. Therefore it became a suitable sign to express God's love and commitment to His people. The prophets, especially Isaiah, (Is.25, 6-10), foretold that at the end of times God will provide a lavish banquet in which all the barriers which prevent people from coming together and becoming one with God and each other, will disappear. In God all will become one, will accept each other, eat at the same table, and live with the Lord under the same roof (God's house). In such a vision, an atmosphere of protection and salvation is guaranteed. There will be true peace and joy; all problems will disappear. Such a messianic vision empowers the faithful to endeavor and in spite of all hardships to trust God above all and to long only for Him. He is their refuge, in Him alone true happiness, comfort, rest, joy, peace, etc will be found.

Such a messianic prophecy is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Thus, just before the passion narrative, Matthew presents Jesus in Jerusalem, preaching the Kingdom of God. With authority and powerful words and signs, He tried to show that his work was no more than the fulfillment of all prophecies. Although He tried very hard to convince the people that He was the true Messiah, the people misled by their leaders (Elders, Priests, Doctors of the Law, Pharisees, etc) rejected him, or even worse, ignored Him. Therefore, He found himself in the very difficult situation of being misunderstood and systematically misjudged.

From the very beginning of His ministry He preached that the Kingdom of God is at hand, it is already here, be ready However, the people of Jerusalem did not care at all, they felt comfortable with what they had and accepted their voluntarily chosen bondage condition. Such a tense situation obliged Him to warn them that although they might be the invited ones, they might not be the chosen ones. God does care and is already taking action providing salvation for the poor, the sick, the sinners All those who accept his invitation and believe in Jesus, will become the new people of God.

Therefore, one moral of todays Word of God would be that despising God means despising oneself. It is as if someone who hates God, and as proof of it tries to spit on Him who is in heaven, the spit will inevitably fall down on his own face. In a similar manner, those (regardless of their condition) who despise God will find themselves doing nothing but damaging themselves. Let us learn from our history and our mistakes. Take courage and believe. Be always ready to convert and enter the Kingdom of God. Only there we will find what we really need, true peace and love in a simple word our true happiness.

Preaching: English A - B C / ѱ*Korean *A *B *C Spanish A B - C