Fr. Americo Santos

Homily: 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

October 15, 2023

This Sunday’s readings speak of an invitation to the Great Banquet of the Lord Jesus. Summarizing these readings, the first one is a prophecy. It speaks of a great feast that is to come. The Second Reading reflects how God provides for our needs. The Gospel tells us that God invites everyone to the wedding banquet of his Son Jesus, but few accept His invitation.

The reading from the Book of Isaiah is a prophecy regarding the promised salvation that was to come through Jesus Christ. This is confirmed by keywords that are used, these being, “On this mountain” (Is. 25:6) and “he will swallow up death forever” (Is. 25:7). “On this mountain” is a figure of speech of Canaanite literature that represents a glorious heavenly banquet of eternal happiness. This passage expresses the people's desire for God's victory over their enemies and the joyful feast that will come in God's Kingdom. This prophecy was fulfilled with Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, who has redeemed us and has given us the promise of eternal life.

In the Gospel of Matthew, we see a parable with a spiritual meaning involved. We see in this parable a wedding banquet which symbolizes the Kingdom of God, but it also symbolizes the Eucharist. It is a wedding banquet that the Father gives for His Son. The Son is Jesus. The bride is the Mystical Body of Christ on earth: The Holy Catholic Church.

From the Old Testament, we learn that the first guests who were invited to the Wedding Banquet were the Jewish people and their leaders. They were God’s chosen people. But they rejected his invitation. Having rejected it, the Lord sent out His invitation to the Gentiles or non-Jewish people.

Today, the invited guests are all those who have received the Sacrament of Baptism. So we, who having been born again through faith in Christ by water and Spirit, we qualify as children of God, but we need to persevere in our faith until the end of our life with the help of the Holy Spirit. The necessity to persevere in the faith is important and confirmed by the reference to the wedding robe. In those days, the proper garment to wear at a wedding feast was a clean white robe. The Book of Revelation tells us that those who are dressed in white are the worthy ones. (Rev. 3:4) and the martyrs. Also, it is clear in the Gospel that for those who do not persevere, their punishment will be instant and severe. Therefore, it is important to persevere in our Christian life as much as we can.

In a few moments, we will continue with the celebration of the Holy Mass. The Holy Mass is also the Great Wedding Banquet that is opened to all of us who have been baptized to live our faith in Christ. We are the children invited by the Father to take part in The Banquet of his Son. The Eucharist assures our salvation to each one of us as long as this Sacrament is received in a state of grace. It is very offensive to God to come to His Feast and receive the Living Bread while we are in a state of sin. Let us continue our celebration to praise and worship God for having blessed us with The Eucharist as the Banquet in honor of his Son: Jesus Christ. Amen.

May the God’s peace be with you all, Fr Americo Santos.