Most people enjoy being invited to a banquet. To be seated at table and served by others makes for a relaxed meal. One is free to engage others at the table in conversation and enjoy a lighthearted time.
In today’s Gospel account, Jesus tells the parable of a wedding feast which is all about being invited to enter into the Kingdom of God. However, some folks come up with excuses as to why they cannot accept the invitation, others ignored it, and still others resorted to violence.
There is a powerful song, “Table of Plenty” that speaks of the feast that Jesus invites us to each week, the celebration of the Eucharist. The refrain is, “Come to the feast of heaven and earth! Come to the table of plenty! God will provide for all that we need, here at the table of plenty.”
The verses of the song are as follows:
O come and sit at my table where saints and sinners are friends. I will wait to welcome the lost and lonely to share the cup of my love.
O come and eat without money; come to drink without price. My feast of gladness will feed your spirit with faith and fullness of life.
My bread will ever sustain you through days of sorrow and woe. My wine will flow like a sea of gladness to flood the depths of your soul.
Your fields will flower in fullness; your homes will flourish in peace. For I, the giver of home and harvest, will send my rain on the soil.
When one takes time to reflect on the words of the song it causes puzzlement as to why so many people refuse Jesus’ invitation to the feast. Did you know that only 20% of Catholics participate in Mass on a weekly basis?
It is no wonder that so many people are burdened and overwhelmed by life. They are not being nourished as they need to be at the most sumptuous banquet in the world. In the Eucharist, Jesus promises us that he will give us everything we need to enjoy a full and abundant life.
St. Pio of Pietrelcina said, “If people knew what the Mass really is, they would be willing to die for it.”
The Eucharist is the foretaste and promise of eternal life, but so many people make up excuses and continue to refuse the invitation of Jesus to participate. May God give us the courage to reach out to those people and invite them to join us. Remember that church is spelled CHURCH. We are not the church when it is simply CHCH, because UR missing!
-Father Dennis, October 15, 2017