YEAR B: HOMILY FOR THURSDAY OF THE 20TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: COME AND EAT BUT PLEASE DRESS PROPERLY.
BY: Fr. Evaristus Abu
_“Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer darkness.” * (Matthew 22:12-13)*_
“Come and Eat” is a universal language. To be invited to a meal is a sign of honour. To turn down an invitation without any reason at all is a sign of irresponsibility. However, to go as far as beating up and even killing the person who brought the invitation is a call for war. What kind of guests would hear “Come and eat” and still refuse to show up? This is very strange! But then, this is our situation today.
Do you notice how we become so used to the things of God that we lose the sense of the sacred such that even outsiders begin to remind us of proper decorum in Church? Do you notice how we Catholics tend to look down on our priests while we run after and sing the praises of Pentecostal Pastors to the extent that many Catholic priests today feel pressured to copy them in other to feel relevant? Indeed, the saying is absolutely true that you never value what you have until you lose it.
Again, do you notice how we allow sins fester in our lives while at the same time convince ourselves that all is well? The common lie we tell ourselves is “people are really bad, unjust, immoral, dirty and crazy. I am not that bad; I am better than most people; in fact, I am trying.” Jesus sums it up when he said: “In truth, I tell you, tax collectors and prostitutes are making their way into the kingdom of God before you.” Matthew 21:31.
Even the prophet Ezekiel in our first reading today testifies that God will gather people from all nations. The fact that we are Catholics or that we are Christians should NEVER be seen as a direct ticket to heaven, it is what happens behind closed doors; our actual relationship with God, that counts. In reality, like these guests, we ignore God’s invitation to come-and- eat without even realizing it.
The other aspect of the parable has to do with taking God for granted. Dear friends, we must realize one truth: *that something is free does not mean it is cheap.* The fact that the guests were invited on a platter of gold did not give any of them the right to come in without a wedding garment.
The fact that Christ paid the price for our sins when he died on the cross or the fact that we can always go to confession SHOULD NEVER give us the license to just plunge ourselves without restriction into disobeying God’s commandments. Dress properly; meaning, show some love and respect to God in your daily life.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, do not cast me from your presence like this young man without a wedding garment. Amen. St. Rose of Lima, Pray for us.
*Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Thursday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time: Ezekiel 36:23-28, Psalm 51:12-19, Matthew 22:1-14).*
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