October 15, 2017

28th Sun., Ordinary Time

October 15, 2017:  Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

See 21 connections with today?
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For 1st reading, 2nd reading, and gospel
For Psalm 23
For future Sundays
Pope Francis

Canonization homily:  The parable's central character is the king’s son, the bridegroom, in whom we can see Jesus.  We're the guests, because the Lord wants to celebrate with us.  The wedding inaugurates lifelong fellowship, the communion God wants to enjoy with us.  Our relationship with him must be that of beloved bride with her groom, more than that of subject with king, servant with master, or student with teacher.  The Lord wants, seeks, and invites us.  He wants a communion of life with dialogue, trust, and forgiveness, not merely obedience to laws.

Christian life is a love story with God.  The Lord freely takes the initiative, invites everyone, and gives them the best seat.  Christian life is born and reborn of this tender, privileged love.  Do we tell him every day, "I love you; you're my life"?  Once love is lost, Christian life becomes empty, a body with no soul, an impossible ethic, rules to obey for no good reason.  But God awaits a response of life and love.  Beware "routine" Christian life without drive or enthusiasm; fan into flame the memory of our first love.  We are the beloved wedding guests; we can respond to God's invitation every day.  But the invitation can be refused.  Many said no, caught up in their own affairs, more interested in having something than risking something, as love demands.  Love grows cold out of a preference for our security or comfort, and we grow old inside, closed in on ourselves.  When all depends on me, I become harsh and lash out at people like some of the invited guests did.  

Do we stand with ourselves or with God, the opposite of selfishness?  Despite the rejection and indifference of the invitees, God doesn't cancel the feast; he keeps inviting.  When he hears no, he broadens the invitation.  In the face of wrongs, he responds with an greater love.  When we're hurt or rejected, we can harbor resentment, but God tries again, continuing to do good even for evildoers; that's what love does and how evil is defeated.  God tells us to live in love and overcome resignation and laziness.  The gospel emphasizes the mandatory garment.  It's not enough just to RSVP; each day we must put on the “habit” of love, put God's will into practice, renew our choice for him.  The Saints, especially the martyrs, said yes with their lives to the very end; they wore Jesus' "mad love" as their robe.  Lord, help us daily to don the white robe of our baptism and keep it spotless by approaching you fearlessly for forgiveness.


Friday homily:  We must be awake, watchful, careful to not enter into temptation.  An unclean spirit that comes out roams, then returns with seven worse demons.  They become part of our life, inspiring us, changing us quietly from within, slowly leading us to worldliness, imperceptibly camouflaging our way of acting.  Once freed, we become worldly.  Worldliness is a spell, a seduction.  When the devil enters sweetly and politely, our values pass from serving God to worldliness, and we become lukewarm Christians, a “fruit salad” of the the world's and God's spirits.  The way to avoid being thus distanced from the Lord is to be vigilant and calm.  Watchfulness is understanding what's in my heart, stopping to examine my life.  Am I Christian or worldly?  We understand this by looking at looking at Christ crucified.  The Crucifix saves us from the seductions that lead us to worldliness.  Do I look to Christ crucified?  Do I pray the Way of the Cross to understand the price of salvation from sin and worldliness?  After self-examination, I must break loose from my comfortable attitudes through works of charity, to break the worldliness the demons try to create in us. 

To Vincentians:  Three forms of action that epitomize your charism are essential to Christian life: adoration, welcome, and being on the way as pilgrims in the world.

To adore the Lord, “is to place oneself before [Him], with respect, with calm and in silence, giving to Him the first place, and abandoning oneself to Him in faith and trust,” Pope Francis said.

To be welcoming means to resize yourself, straighten out your thinking, and understand that your life and time is not your own.

Love is dynamic: it goes out of itself.  If you love, you don't sit and wait for a better world; you get up and go with enthusiasm and simplicity.  More

Read
    Wordle: Readings 10-12-14
  • Is 25:6-10a  The Lord will provide a feast of rich food and choice wines, destroy veil, web, and death, wipe away tears, remove reproach.  "Rejoice that God has saved us!"
  • Ps 23:1-6  "I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life."  The Lord, my shepherd, leads, refreshes, and guides me and gives me repose.  You're at my side giving me courage.  You spread the table and anoint me.
  • Phil 4:12-14, 19-20  I've learned how to live well-fed or hungry, in abundance or need.  I can do all things in him who strengthens me.  God will supply your need.
  • Mt 22:1-14  "A king gave a wedding feast for his son sent servants to invite guests, but they didn't come.  He sent others to invite more, but some ignored them and others mistreated them.  He then told his servants to go invite whomever they find.  The king saw a guest not in a wedding garment and asked him why; the guest was reduced to silence.  The king had him bound and cast outside.  Many are invited, but few chosen."
Reflect
  • What about the guy without a proper wedding garment?  Whether he refused a provided garment (as some say) or just came in with dirty clothes, the issue is how we prepare; see Bible Gateway and Bible Hub.
  • Creighton:  God's invitation draws us into freedom.  Isaiah promises the Israel they'll be filled, the Lord will wipe away their tears, and they'll rejoice.  The psalm paints a picture of a good life with God.  Paul’s letter provides counterpoint to the 1st reading:  he's learned to be well-fed and to go hungry, to live in abundance or in need, with faith that God will supply our needs.  In the gospel parable, when the king's wedding invitations were spurned, he invited more guests, but one's dress insulted him and the guest offered no explanation.  The king had him bound and cast into the darkness.
In the story of Lazarus, Jesus stood at his friend's tomb, comforted his sisters, and called “Come out!” Lazarus came out immediately, and Jesus ordered him unbound and freed out of the darkness, contrary to how the king treated the unprepared guest.  Jesus invites us too back to life, unbound from what ties us up.  May we become aware of how God longs for a deeper relationship with us, where we're aware of God settled in our hearts.  May we hear, “Untie him; untie her.  Go free!”
    Etching illustrating Lk 14:16-24 in the Bowyer Bible/ Luyken
  • Passionist:  Jesus' wedding feast parable reminds us that all are invited, “bad and good alike.”  Three responses were highlighted:  ignoring the invitation, being hostile, and coming but not dressed appropriately.  Today following Christ does meet hostility, but we're more likely to see the invitation ignored, with other things considered more important. The guest improperly dressed can represent those who say they're Christian but unwilling to change; their ideal religion doesn't demand conversion.  Where do we fall?  All are invited:  “The Lord will provide for all peoples....  He will destroy death and wipe away every tear.”  Do I see the kingdom as more important than all else?  How will I respond to God's love?  Will I let my relationship with Jesus change me?  If we're worried, Paul tells us, (4:12-14, 19-20): “I can do all things in him who strengthens me.”  RSVP; God both invites and gives what's needed to respond!
  • DailyScripture.net:  Heaven is the wedding feast of all feasts.  The wedding guests the king invited in advance spurned him, putting their interests ahead of his.  Jesus was warning Jews whom God wanted to share in the kingdom and not refuse his Son.  The "bad" second-round invitees signified Gentiles and sinners.  This invitation of grace also includes a warning for those who refuse it or don't prepare:  grace is gift that carries a responsibility.  "Cheap grace is what we bestow on ourselves:  forgiveness without repentance, grace without discipleship, cross, or incarnate Jesus.  Costly grace is the gospel we must keep seeking,  the gift we must seek, the door at which we must knock; it's costly because it calls us to follow Christ, costs life, and gives true life." (Bonhoeffer)
Dress legend
  • 'Alps' tie pin:  "On this mountain..." (1st reading)
  • 'Silverware' tie bar:  ...The Lord will provide a feast (1st reading), "you set a table before me" (psalm); "I've learned the secret of being well-fed" (2nd reading); king's wedding banquet (gospel)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  "We looked to our God to save us" (1st reading); "you spread the table in the sight of my foes" (psalm)
  • 'Hands' and 'feet' pins:  "The Lord's hand will rest on this mountain" (1st reading); "bind his hands and feet" (gospel)
  • 'Sheep' tie bar:  "The Lord is my shepherd" (psalm)
  • 'Walker' tie pin:  "Though I walk in the dark valley..." (psalm)
  • 'Crown' tie bar:  King who gave wedding feast (gospel)
  • 'Cow' pin:  "My calves and fattened cattle are killed" (gospel)
  • Dark tie pin:  "Cast him into the darkness" (gospel)
  • 'Phone' tie bar:  many are 'called' but few chosen (gospel)
  • Green and blue shirt:  Verdant pastures and restful waters (psalm), Ordinary Time season