The Feast is Ready

Homily for 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)
October 15, 2017
Sacred Heart, EGF – 7:30 AM; 9:00 AM; 10:30 AM

Focus:               The Feast is Ready.
Function:          Come Hungry.

Thanksgiving dinner.jpgWhen I was in high school, I worked for a Kmart store. All of us were expected to work on Thanksgiving Day since it was such a big shopping day, but they would always try to schedule the shifts in such a way as to allow as many of us as possible to enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner with our families.

Still, no one cares for working on Thanksgiving. To make it more enjoyable and to create some excitement, the store always catered in an early Thanksgiving lunch.  Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, cranberry…

When it was my turn for a break, I went back to the lounge and got a plate. I had been up early and was hungry.  It smelled so good!  I enjoyed lunch with some of my friends and then went back to work for another hour to finish my shift.

When I got home, the yard was filled with cars. I walked in the house and was greeted by my mom and dad, aunts, uncles and cousins.  They had been waiting for me.  We prayed and everyone started going through the line.  I hung toward the back.

“Matt, grab a plate!” my mom said.

This wasn’t going to go over well…

I had so filled myself with the catered meal at work that I had no appetite for the home-cooked feast that my mom had prepared…I’ll never forget how her face fell as she exclaimed: “I can’t believe you did that!”

Brothers and sisters, today’s readings remind us that the Lord has prepared a feast for us…an abundant feast of rich foods and choice wines. We are called to the supper of the Lamb.  Yet, so often, we fill ourselves with other foods and kill our appetite for the feast that the Lord has prepared.

We fill ourselves with the fast food of pleasure and instant gratification so that we no longer hunger for the banquet of Christ’s love.

But Christ calls us to something more.

Christ calls us to the Banquet.

And he calls us to go into the main roads and invite to the feast whomever we find. Bring them in so that they may feed on banquet that will satisfy every hunger of the human heart.

Some declined the invitation to the Wedding Feast. They declined it because weren’t hungry for it.  They had filled themselves with other things, things that seemed to satisfy but in the end would only leave them hungry again.

Others jumped at the invitation to the Feast and gladly accepted, but they took it for granted. They came to the Feast but they spurned the King by coming in unprepared.

They came to the feast but did not robe themselves with repentance.

They came to the feast but failed to clothe themselves with the garment of gratitude, the clothes of conversion, preferring instead the soiled clothes of an unmoved heart. They treated the special wedding feast as if it were a quick lunch break at a fast food restaurant, and they offended the king.

Brothers and sisters, the feast is ready.

The fatted calf has been killed.
Everything is ready.

Come to the feast.

Come to the feast and receive the food that satisfies the hungers of the heart.

Come to the feast and receive the Living Bread come down from Heaven – the bread that is the flesh for the life of the world.

Come to the feast and taste a wine that is rich and full-bodied, a foretaste and sample of the good wine we all hope to experience one day at the Wedding Feast of Heaven, a sober intoxication of the Spirit of God himself.

Come to the feast.

Come hungry.

This is why the Church requires us to fast an hour before receiving the Eucharist. We fast from the food that doesn’t satisfy in order to increase our desire for the food that ultimately satisfies…

The Bread of Life and the Chalice of Salvation…
A Body broken and Blood outpoured…

Come to the feast.

Come with your wedding garment, come clothed in the white garment that was given to you by the King at your baptism, the white garment that is the outward sign of your Christian dignity, the garment that you were urged to bring unstained into the wedding feast, a garment that so often gets soiled by the sin of our daily living but thanks be to God the garment that is also able to be washed white again by the Blood of the Lamb in the confessional.

This is why we are to confess any serious sins, any mortal sins, before we receive Holy Communion, so that we may enter the feast clothed in our wedding garment, so that we may partake of the banquet with hearts contrite and spirits humble.

God provides all that we need.

God is the one who provides the banquet.
God is the one who prepares the feast.
God is the one who provides the garment.

God is the one who has invited us, called us, chosen us.

Blessed are those who are called to the supper of the Lamb.

Brothers and sisters, everything is ready.
The invitation has been extended:
“Come to the feast.”
“Come hungry.”

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