To watch Fr. Joe’s homily from the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE!
To watch Fr. Joe’s homily for the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE!
If I were to ask what thought did you take away from the scripture readings today, we might rightly say that in the Book of Kings today, when Naaman is healed of leprosy, he immediately returns to Elisha with a gift and a sincere desire to worship the God of Israel.
In Gospel of Luke, we heard the familiar story of 10 lepers cured, but only one returns to thank Jesus and glorify God.
We might say we need to be resolved to live with thankful hearts, finding joy in the good things that have been done for us, and taking the time to thank God and each other for these blessings.
And such a take away is fine and hopefully we do… but let me suggest another thought we might take with us as this weekend.
Yes, all 10 lepers were healed but only one of ten came back to thank Jesus. The other nine most certainly did as they were asked, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” But this one person realized that Jesus not only healed him, but also knew his life would never be the same because of his encounter with Jesus.
And so he went back to Jesus while the others went their way after being helped by Jesus.
This one person GOT IT! He knew that now he had a whole new relationship with Jesus, the Master – with Jesus, the Son of God.
You know every time we share in the Sacraments, we encounter Jesus, who prays that we will get it. That He, Jesus, continues to offer us something more than what we are asking for at the moment; be it Baptism, Communion, Confirmation, Anointing of the Sick…
God continues to give us life and gives it in abundance!
Our faith life is not meant to be a grocery store approach to faith, where we come only when we need or want something…
Hopefully we come to see that Jesus, our Lord and Savior, has more to offer us than just what we need or want at the moment. There is more available to us, more to come, because Jesus not just touched our life once or twice, but that Jesus wishes to touch our lives in ways that are abundant throughout our journey of life and faith…
What more is Jesus offering us as person, family and Parish as we turn to him in prayer today, in receiving the Eucharist every weekend, who touches our lives in so many ways that can absolutely change us for the better.
To watch Fr. Tom Hayes’ homily from the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE!
There is a song, I am sure many of us are familiar with entitled, Table of Plenty, with the refrain, “Come to the feast of Heaven and Earth, come to the table of plenty.”
In our first reading from Isaiah the Prophet, he gives us a picture of a grand feast. Isaiah wants our mouths to water. Picture all those foods and drinks that are your favorites. All calorie free of course. All there, just for the taking.
This feast is for everyone, young and old, adult and child… including us. People who struggle in any number of ways. People who failed in any number of ways.
But what makes this “feast” different is, it is a feast “hosted” by our God. A God of immeasurable love. “Come to the feast of Heaven and Earth, come to the table of plenty.”
And Jesus too talks about a feast. A feast hosted by the king, God the Father. A feast that many invitees could not find the time to attend. “Come to the feast of Heaven and Earth, come to the table of plenty.”
In our time, we see the banquet, the feast as a symbol of communion and our celebration of the Eucharist (Mass).
This story of Jesus invites us to consider who God is inviting and with whom we are willing to share the one bread and one cup of the Eucharist.
Friday night, I came across a movie about Ernie Davis. He was a person of color in the early 60’s who played for Syracuse University and was the first person of color to win the Heisman Trophy. But being black in the 60’s was difficult. Blacks were often barred from restaurants or hotels or had to enter through a back entrance. Even when the Syracuse won the National Championship and Ernie Davis, the MVP, he could not attend the awards ceremony, since it was held a “White Only” Country Club. An award ceremony that the entire team decided not to attend and instead gather together for barbecue. They were a team!
“Come to the feast of Heaven and Earth, come to the table of plenty.”
Jesus invites everyone to the feast. No exceptions, no matter ones status, no matter ones issues. As we pray at Mass, “Lord, I am not worthy.” That does not matter to God. All that counts is our willingness to receive and to share in what we do not deserve. This invitation continues to be offered to us.
It is a surprising offer nobody should refuse.
May we continue to respond to the invitation of God. May we continue to extend the invitation of God to others to “Come to the feast of Heaven and Earth, come to the table of plenty.”
Scripture Readings: Isaiah 25:6-10; Philippians 4:12-14, 19-20; Matthew 20:1-14
This past Thursday, I was speaking with a Parish Life Director of our Diocese, a woman religious who shared that she recently had Dan Schutte at her Parish for a Concert, the same Dan Schutte who, a year ago, was at our neighboring Parish. And, I am sure most, if not all of us, are familiar with his song, “Table of Plenty” and the beginning of the song’s refrain:
“Come to the feast of Heaven and Earth; Come to the table of plenty.”
The scriptures today, especially that of Isaiah and Matthew reflect their common belief that the Kingdom of God – The Kingdom of Heaven – is like a banquet of rich food and choice wines, prepared by God.
For Isaiah all the peoples of the earth would be in attendance.
For Matthew the guest list evolved, after those invited refused to come, the servants of the king went out into the streets and gathered in to the feast, all they found, the good and bad alike.
John Wesley, a Methodist minister once shared that, “when he arrived in heaven, he would be surprised by three things:
- First, he would be surprised by who was there
- Second, he would be surprised by who was not there
- Third, he would be surprised to find himself there”
John Wesley, reminds us that God’s ways are not only surprising, but rich in mercy and love for sinners.
Maybe another way of saying all this is, how can we try and try and try again, to take on the “Mind of Jesus?”
I do think that this is exactly what Pope Francis is asking us to consider through his preaching and his exhortations to Catholics, to Christians, to all people. (This, I believe is what the Pope hopes to see happen in the Synod on the Family that is underway in Rome.) How can the Church, how can we who are part of the Church at the present time – take on the mind of Jesus when it comes to our daily lives at home, at work, in school, in the parish, in the community. Maybe there are more Pastoral ways to live our lives – personally and universally – as person, families and Church.
Pope Francis, it seems, continues to remind us to be more accepting of people, to be more merciful, to be more forgiving, to be more caring, to be more Christ like.
Many people often wonder why the man of the Gospel was thrown out of the Wedding Feast. Rather “bound hand and feet, and cast into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”
It had nothing to do with not being dressed to the nine’s – rather the point is that just showing up is not enough.
The garment is a reminder us of our Baptismal garment, when we “put on Christ” as the Baptism Ritual shares: “See in the white garment you wear the outward sign of your Christian dignity. With your family and friends to help you by word and example, bring that dignity unstained into the everlasting life of Heaven.”
Our Baptismal garment cannot not be tucked away in storage, it needs to be worn every day; and our Baptismal promises need to be lived every day, as we actively live our love of God, love of others, as His Disciples of today!
Come to the Feast of Heaven and Earth, Come to the table of plenty and may “Christ be our Light” today and every day. Amen.