Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time, October 11
May We Always Wear the “Wedding Garment” of Personal Holiness, So That We May Come to Eternally Realize the Joy of Being one who is “Chosen”.
Paul encourages us today with the words we find in his Letter to the Philippians, “My God will fully supply whatever you need, in accord with his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
And in the Book of the Prophet Isaiah we read, “…the LORD of hosts will provide for all peoples a feast of rich food and choice wines, juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines.” – words symbolizing the fullness of God’s blessings which await His children in His Heavenly Kingdom.
When you and I take the time to reflect upon all that awaits those of us who have embraced God’s will in our lives, all who have embraced His Love and sought after His Mercy, what a wondrous God we truly have!
In the unfathomable Love which He holds for each one of us, made present in our mothers’ wombs when we were gifted with an immortal soul at the very moment of our conception, our very beings were nurtured and caressed by a Father’s Love which is beyond anything we could ever possibly fully understand or describe on this side of Heaven.
And as we are born and continue to grow, beginning our unique and distinctive journey through this life, we begin to realize that we are never alone, that the Divine Nature of Almighty God is always present in our every step we take through life – constantly inviting us into a more intimate and loving relationship with Himself – with a God who calls each of us into oneness with Himself.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus presents us with the parable of the “wedding feast”, that ultimate invitation in which God invites us to spend our eternity with Him – an eternity in which death is destroyed forever, an eternity in which “The Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from every face.”
From the very moment of our conception, God invites us to become fruitful and active members of the Body of Christ, in which our Lord Jesus is Himself the Bridegroom and we are members of His Bride, the Church. As such, we are each invited to clothe ourselves in the “wedding garment” of holiness, so that we may forever enjoy the wonders of His “wedding feast”.
If you and I should look back on our past life, especially when we were living through our teenage years and when we were young adults, can we honestly say to ourselves that we were always faithful members of His Church? Can we honestly say that we have never turned our backs on His Love, that we always wore that “wedding garment” of personal sanctity?
I would venture to say that there are many of us, including myself, who know that our Lord must have found us wanting in so many ways, for we know that there were times when our souls were definitely not dressed with the garment of holiness! I am just eternally thankful that God is very patient with His children, as He guides us through life, as only God can, into a deeper awareness of His unfathomable Love and limitless Mercy.
And for those of us who are parents or grandparents, as we look back at a time when our children were young, and as we now watch many of our children or grandchildren now experiencing what each one of us once experienced – a searching, a journey of finding one’s way in this life – the struggles of growing up can, at times, become very difficult, especially in a society and in a world today which does not wish to recognize or even acknowledge God’s Presence among us.
Sometimes, these struggles even take us away from His invitation to be near Him. Without being judgmental, we can objectively discern that there are many in the world today who call themselves Christian, but their souls are oftentimes clothed in anything but His Divine Light – in the “wedding garment” needed to enjoy His Eternal Wedding Feast. Instead, their souls are steeped in darkness and sin, and their lives are sadly lived without remorse!
And yet, it is in God’s Merciful Love and His infinite understanding of our weak human nature which gives us the chance to become reconciled and reunited with His Love. God gives us the opportunity of clothing our souls in the only attire which truly matters – the “wedding garment” which will allow us, one day, to enter His Eternal and Heavenly Feast.
The choice of answering His invitation, the choice of opening our hearts to all that God freely offers to each one of us is a personal one. It is a choice which allows us to enjoy the blessings which His Kingdom has to offer on both sides of the eternal – in the here and now and the many graces which He makes available to us, and in the life to come with all of its eternal wonders!
Or it becomes a choice which sets us up as strangers, as foreigners, setting us apart from the Divine Bridegroom, setting us apart from His Love and all that His Love offers – a choice which, if continued to the end of one’s life, can only end in eternal despair and misery, the likes of which the human mind cannot even imagine!
We may begin our journey with the best of intentions, but then as we age and mature, when we should be growing in wisdom, we begin to make choices which are contrary to the will of God, foolishly setting ourselves apart from Him. When we should be growing in personal holiness, our actions begin to diminish, if not completely extinguish God’s grace within us.
Yet, our faith teaches us that God never gives up on us. He constantly seeks after us, calling out to us, so that we may all be one in Him and with Him – for He truly is the Eternal Shepherd who always watches over His flock – guiding us, protecting us, lifting us up and carrying us when necessary! His faithfulness to us is such that He even laid down His own life and died for us, so that the despair of death itself would be vanquished and eternal salvation might be ours.
And we are lifted up and encouraged with the words of our Responsorial Psalm today – “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.” – a prayer, a hymn of confidence in the God who cares for and shepherds His children.
They are words which speak to us of trust, not succumbing to the fears and anxieties which oftentimes seem to surround God’s children of every generation, but rather words which speak of trusting in the God who loves each one of us and cares for us as only our Loving Father can – a Father who desires that not one of His children be forever lost.
As you and I look at ourselves in a mirror as God would look at us, are we ready, are we prepared to feast at the Lord’s banquet table if we should be called today? Are we clothed at this moment in the “wedding garment” of personal holiness?
I pray that, as we continue to cope with our daily struggles through this life, filled with so many vales of tears, we may never lose heart, we may never lose faith. And that, with the help of His Merciful Love and His grace, we may always live in God’s Presence and grow in the hope of seeing our Lord Jesus Christ face-to-face, one day, in His Eternal Wedding Feast – to which each of us is invited.
Remembering our Lord’s words we read in today’s Gospel, “Many are invited, but few are chosen”, I pray that, with the help of God’s grace, each one of us, both you and I, may come to eternally realize the joy of being one who is “chosen”.
It is then that the words of Isaiah will become our own, “On that day it will be said: ‘Indeed, this is our God; we looked to him, and he saved us! This is the LORD to whom we looked; let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!’”
May God bless you, God love you, and may God always keep you. †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “My God will fully supply whatever you need, in accord with his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
- “…the LORD of hosts will provide for all peoples a feast of rich food and choice wines, juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines” (Isaiah 25:6)
- “…he will destroy the veil that veils all peoples…He will destroy death forever. The Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from all faces.” (Isaiah 25:7a, 8ab)
- “The servants went out into the streets and gathered all they found, bad and good alike, and the hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to meet the guests he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment. He said to him, ‘My friend, how is it that you came in here without a wedding garment?’ But he was reduced to silence.” (Matthew 22:10-12)
- “Then the king said to his attendants, ‘Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’ Many are invited, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:13-14)
- “I delight to do your will, my God; your law is in my inner being!” (Psalm 40:9)
- “So now, O children, listen to me; instruction and wisdom do not reject! Happy the man who obeys me, and happy those who keep my ways.” (Proverbs 8:32-33)
- “…living the truth in love, we should grow in every way into him who is the head, Christ.” (Ephesians 4:15)
- “The LORD is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack…he restores my soul. He guides me along right paths for the sake of his name…I will dwell in the house of the LORD for endless days.” (Psalm 23:1, 3, 6b)
- “On that day it will be said: ‘Indeed, this is our God; we looked to him, and he saved us! This is the LORD to whom we looked; let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!’” (Isaiah 25:9)
Prayer for the Day
“O Lord God, my Savior and my dearest Friend,
I pray for the grace and the strength
to remain faithful to Your teachings
and to the Sacramental life of the Church.
“Help me to persevere in the commitments
and promises I have made to You.
Give me the fortitude to live up to the vocation
I received during my Baptism as Your faithful child.
“Help me to place love and service to You
before all else in my life,
remaining true to Your Truth,
not abandoning myself to the lies and deceits of Satan.
“Grant me the grace to be a holy example for others,Anonymous
never abandoning Your Laws for my own sake.
May I be a model of faithfulness and selfless love,
giving You honor and glory both now and forever. Amen.”