THE LORD WILL MAKE A FEAST Mt 22:1-14 October 12, 2014
The community of joy is a people who respond to the invitation to share. (Isa 25:1-9; Ps 23; Phil 4:1-9; Mt 22:1-14)
*In our readings today there is the element of want on the one hand, and on the other hand, a banquet.
We are aware of our modern world in which stark images of starvation. There is hunger and want among up to a third of all the children of the world. In our area here in Worcester County, Massachusetts, one child in five is food insecure–does not know where their next meal is coming from.
*When we live without sharing, we are in a family, congregation or community that is at risk. When a family or a community can share, it grows strong. A family or community that does not share grows ever weaker.
“The people are the most important element in any nation… Is it only the mouth and belly which are injured by hunger and thirst? [Our] minds are also injured by them” (Mencius 372-299 b.c.e., Works Bk 4, 1:27.1, 2:14.1)
In our moral and spiritual life, we are people travelling in growing security when the people of our homes, our congregations, our communities and our world all have food security.
*We remember Philip the Deacon on Fri 11 October). The ‘diaconal’ life is the life of loving, joyful service, which we see in Phil 4. This is the service not only of our own needs, but also the needs of those around us. This is reflected also in the writings of St Luke (18 October), who described Christ as “the universal saviour who has a special place in his heart for the poor and weak of this world.”
We live in a nightmare of hunger and disease: yet we need not give in to pessimism and disillusion. Rather, let our faith in Christ give to us strength, cooperation, joy, and positive action.
*In our gospel reading from Matthew 22, the community of joy is a people who respond to the invitation to share.
* The only wedding garment required (Mt 22:12) is a clean garment–the required “clean clothing” of a Christian is the clothing of repentance. Repentance from what? From selfishness; from injustice, from being merciless, from being faithless to ourselves and others.
*”Small aid is wealth for daily gladness; once a man be done with hunger, rich and poor are all as one” (Euripides 485-406 b.c.e., Electra line 427).
“You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?’” (George Bernard Shaw, Back to Methuselah 1921, part 1, act I). Why not ensure that the children of the world are not hungry? Why not?