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Many Are Called But Few Are Chosen

Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A (15/10/2023)

(Isaiah 25:6-10a; Psalm 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6; Philippians 4:12-14, 19-20; Matthew 22:1-14)

Fr Samuel Odeh

It will be said on that day, “Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation”.” (Isaiah 25:9)

The salvation God promises us is a full salvation that can bring us a rich life.  We are a people of promise, a covenant people who must meet our part of the bargain by responding to God’s invitation with a firm, generous, and permanent commitment.  Yet, on our own, we are unable to make an appropriate and faithful response to God without the food and strength he provides also.  In today’s first reading from the prophet Isaiah, God promises full salvation through nourishment in terms of a very lavish and rich banquet to which all the nations of the earth will be invited.  At this banquet is promised the gifts of unhindered vision, the removal of death, and the consolation of the sorrowing.  In the responsorial psalm, we read, “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies; thou anointest my head with oil, my cup overflows” (Psalms 23:5).  In the second reading from Philippians, Paul mentions a certain ability to live well, either in times of want or plenty and an ability to achieve anything through the strength that Christ provides.  Today’s Gospel is a parable Jesus told to illustrate God’s generous invitation to all and the response of different peoples, as well as God’s verdict on all.

There are a number of lessons for us to take home from these readings this Sunday, but a few questions we could ask ourselves would be better.  What is our vision of salvation?  Have we truly grasped the riches and fullness that only God’s salvation can bring us?  Do we keep inventory of the needs we are able to meet, or not, whether in times of austerity or surplus, and show gratitude to God through sharing our goods with others?  The “wedding garment” mentioned in the Gospel could also refer to a permanent commitment to Christ that shows itself through a loving and sacrificing way of treating our brothers and sisters.  Have I made the decision to give my lifetime to Christ?  May we fully place our trust in God that we may live so as to merit the rewards of his salvation.

..that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you…” (Ephesians 1:17-18).

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