OMELIE / Omelie EN

15/10/2017 – 28th Sunday of O. T. Year A

15/10/2017 – 28th Sunday of O. T. Year A

1st reading.  Isaiah 25,6-10a  from Psalm  22/23  2nd reading  Philippians 4,12-14.19-20  Gospel Matthew 22,1-14

My God will fulfill all your needs out of the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus”. This is what Saint Paul promises to the Christians of Philippi, who helped him with donations while he was experiencing economic difficulties. God Himself is not indifferent to our needs, He actually “prepares a table for me”, reassures us in the “ravine as dark as death”, like it is assured in the Psalm of the Good Shepard! God’s intervention, we must remember, comes always “in Christ Jesus”: the Father acts always through Him. The Son of God has been sent not to stand in place of the Father, but in order to make Him visible to the naked eye: He is our peace and safety, He is true richness, because God’s love is always present and working in Him! Of this truth speak in a veiled, but prophetic, manner, both Isaiah and Jesus in the parable. Isaiah speaks as many as three times of “this mountain”: he brings us symbolically up on a mountain that is well known for the joy that pervades it, a joy coming from our Lord’s hand, placed on it. The joy of that mountain is shown by a banquet laid on top of it, but also by the fact that on that mountain the eyes of all men can contemplate the truth, and look at the very face of God! On it the Lord speaks, eliminating in this way death, and then also the fear, anguish and the suffering that come from death. God is life, eternal life: every intervention of His cannot bring anything else but life to men. From this comes a great joy, because salvation is assured to be enjoyed on “this mountain”; this is why he says: “Let us exult and rejoice since he has saved us”!

Isaiah leaves finding “this mountain” to us; and this is not really that difficult, since we met Jesus! He is the mountain of our salvation, He is the revelation of the Father’s love, He is victory over death, He is the banquet and the food that satisfies and fills the heart with joy! The prophet prepares us to listen to the words of Jesus Himself, and to understand them in all their wisdom and strength. He is introducing to us a king that is organizing the wedding feast for his son. It is a very important moment, the most desired and loved by the king, a great gift for the entire people: as a matter of fact this is the moment in which the king’s son present the bride with his life. It is not difficult for us to understand the allusion to Jesus’ death: that is the moment in which He, representing God, the spouse of Israel, shows his definitive love for the bride, the people of God! The wedding is not a private event: to it are invited the most important personalities of the people. But the guests prefer to attend other businesses that they think are more important, and they ignore the invitation, even worse, they pick on whoever is calling them to take part in the joy, insulting them or even killing them! We understand well: Jesus is telling the parable to the “chief priests and the elders”, to whom were already planning to condemn Him to death.

The parable continues: the fest will take place anyway! The invitation will be sent to others, without taking into account dignity or merit, without considering righteousness or meanness. In this way Jesus lets me know that I, as well, can consider myself as invited, even more, I can be sure of it: to be invited does not depend on my conscience being clear, without sins, but on the goodness and desire of the Father! I am loved by God not because I am good, but because He is merciful and patient and great in love! God is not asking anything from me in order to love me: He is already loving me. I do not have to do anything to gain His affection! This truth is really “gospel”, good news that bring peace to the heart.

However, a question comes naturally: so, then, I do not really need to do anything, don’t I? If God loves me independently from my actions, is it useless to follow laws and rules? Of course not! If God fills me with His love – and His love is Jesus – I need to welcome it, to let it pervade my life, to let it bear fruits, in order not to be like the very first guests, that ignored the invitation: I would be excluded from the joy and peace!

To this possibility refers the odd ending of the parable. Jesus is telling about a person that is not wearing the ceremonial dress, and then he is thrown out of the room in which the feast takes place. In order to understand it is necessary to be aware of a habit of those times: whoever was inviting somebody else to a wedding, would provide the dress for the guests: to refuse it meant despising the host. The love that God gives us inviting us to his feast and the dress he provides us to wear is His Son: Jesus Himself is the gift of the Father. I need to be dressed in Him. Without Him I cannot enter His kingdom. I cannot say to the Father: I am entering because I have the right to do so, I am gaining access by myself. It would be like saying to Him: I do not need you! I would be then like those Pharisees and leaders that Jesus was criticizing.

This is why Saint Paul told us: “My God will fulfill all your needs out of the riches … in Christ Jesus”! I will express my thanksgiving to Him living in a way He will always approve: He deserves it. I will love Jesus and not only I will obey His commands, but also His desires, not trying to gain His affection, but because He is already loving me so much, He loves me like a son!

I give you thanks Lord Jesus: you are my <passport> to the kingdom of heaven, you are the mountain of my joy, you are the peace of the heart, source of communion with the Father and with all men!