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.”