Sunday, 15 October 2017

Twenty-eighth Sunday - 2017

Garment of Salvation                    

At the time Jesus formed this parable, people would be familiar with the custom for a great king, hosting the wedding of his son, to provide all the wedding guests with elaborate wedding garments so the whole affair would look spectacular. Not to accept and wearing these garments would be a great insult, provoking the king’s anger.

Jesus forms this, parable, using the symbolism of a king’s wedding for his son, to convey a real and serious lessons to people at that time, and to all of us today. This parable encapsulates a short history of salvation.

Looking at its components we are to understand that:

+  The great King is the Lord God, his Son is Jesus.
+  The wedding feast is that of the Lamb of God, with the saints assembling with him in heaven.
+   Those first invited to the wedding are the people of the O.T.
+   The servants sent out with the invitation are the prophets of the O.T. who were ignored, abused, and murdered.
+   The army sent to punish those who did this is the Roman army, who destroyed Israel.
+   The new servants with a new invitation are the evangelist of the gospel.
+   The newly invited, “both good or bad”, are the peoples of all the world – including us.
+   The wedding garment provided is the garment of mercy and salvation, covering all unworthiness.
+   Wearing it is a life of holiness – not wearing it a life of un-repentant sinfulness.

Through this parable Jesus teaches that there is only one true King, the Lord God,
>   only one divine Son, Jesus,
>   only one wedding feast, eternal life of heaven,
>   only one invitation, the gospel,
>  only one body of servants sent out to invite, the Church, united in the Holy Spirit.

This parable of Jesus is as fresh and relevant for us today as it was to those who first heard it. As it was then, so it is now, the invitation continues to go out and the invitation today is receiving the same mixed results.
Two questions remain:

?   Have I accepted the invitation, embracing it unconditionally?
?   Am I putting on the garment of a truly holy life?


Wednesday, 11 October 2017

the Word Among Us

Here is a link to an article
containing some excellent
suggestion for reading
and praying scripture
“Contrary to popular belief, you can understand the Bible and study it on your own. Reading and studying the Sacred Scriptures is the journey of a lifetime. Now, as with any journey, there are several different routes you can take to get to where you want to go . . . . . .”

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Thanksgiving 2017 & the Twenty-seventh Sunday

 This is Thanksgiving weekend – not specifically a holy day as such – but many observe this day by attending worship services to give thanks to God. But these days, as we look out on the world around us – many troubling and disturbing realities rise up before us. So much discontent everywhere, so much acrimony, harsh judging, and condemnation, so much that seems to be dividing peoples and groups and even nations.

But as I was thinking of these things, to reconcile them with Thanksgiving, the words of St. Paul in today's Second Reading seemed to address how we should approach all these paradoxes to a peaceful heart on Thanksgiving. Remember, Paul is writing these words from prison – his very life hangs in the balance. Yet out of this ominous darkness, he sends this remedy, this recipe for dealing with darkness. Listen again to his words;

Brothers and sisters: Do not worry about anything,
but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, 
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Worry leading to panic, leading to loss of peace cannot lead to solutions to the darkness. So how then should we deal with the threats that surround us and trouble us? Paul goes on to offer this thanksgiving recipe:

Whatever is true: “only Truth can make you free” – Jesus’ words. We must find truth and listen for those voices who speak real truth, not fake truth.  

Whatever is honourable: look to those who rise above the chaos, those who’s words and deeds have bourn the test of time; who by their legacy of goodness have given us an example to follow.

Whatever is just: which works that people undertake bring suffering, which bring peace? Blessed are the peacemakers.

Whatever is pure: can a bad tree produce good fruit - by their fruits you know them.

Whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable: Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness - Blessed are the merciful - Blessed are the pure of heart -

Finally Paul concludes:

If there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise: Think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

There will be many gatherings this weekend, of family and friends. And no doubt, there will be many special recipes shared. May this recipe of St. Paul’s be one of them.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Saint Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may 
not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

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