Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

Ave Maria!

Second Sunday after Pentecost - 10 June AD 2012

Ordinary of the Mass

Mass Text Latin - Sunday within the Octave
Mass Text English - Sunday within the Octaveh

English Mass Text - Corpus Christi
Latin Mass Text - Corpus Christi

“I say unto you, that none of those men that were invited, shall taste of my supper.”[1]

    Today’s Gospel is open to a number of interpretations.  The parable was told while our Lord was the dinner guest of one of the chief Pharisees.  Quite probably, the Pharisees invited Him in order to find out more about Him, and not as a social gesture.  Earlier in the same chapter be read:  “And it came to pass, when Jesus went into the house of one of the chief of the Pharisees, on the sabbath day, to eat bread, that they watched him.”[2]  Our Lord was more well received by the common people than by those who were in charge.

    After curing a man with dropsy, and justifying the fact that He did so on the Sabbath, He gave them a lesson in humility—it is the subject of another Sunday’s reading—the one where he urges dinner guests to take the least place at the table, for “he that humbles himself, shall be exalted.”[3]

    The parable about the invited guests making excuses in order not to attend most probably was directed at the Pharisees and the other people in authority.  On some level the Jewish people were the invited guests of God—His chosen people.  He had called Abraham out of the Chaldees, brought them back from bondage in Egypt to the promised land, and then again out of captivity in Babylon.  He had given them His Law, established the sacrifices offered in the Temple where He dwelt day and night on the Holy of Holies.  He had taken them a long way, and now He was calling them to journey a bit farther with His only begotten Son.

    Jesus knew that they would refuse this call, and their refusal, like the refusal of the dinner guests, would exclude them from God’s graces.  It may be significant that in just a few more years they would even give up the sacrificial worship of the Temple, and cease following their old tradition of worship.  Not only did they reject God’s Son, but they also abandoned the worship demanded of them under the old Law.

    With the rejection of Christ by His chosen people, the invitation passed on to the gentiles—the other nations of the earth.  It was spread far and wide by the Apostles and their successors—first by word of mouth, then in handwritten texts, in printed books, and finally by electronic communications.

    But here again, some of those who were invited refused to look more deeply into what was offered, refused Baptism, and refused to enter the Catholic Church.  Their reasons for refusing ranged from lust to laziness, through malice and pride—but, for whatever reason, they chose not to enter into God’s eternal banquet.

    And even among the baptized, we find those who leave before the supper is served.  These are those who choose to live in unrepentant mortal sin.  Today, Saint John tells us that “no murderer has eternal life abiding in him,” and that he who does not love his brother is no better:  “He who does not love abides in death.”[4]  “He who has the goods of this world, and sees his brother in need, and closes his heart to him, how does the love of God abide in him”?[5]  Our Lord told us in no uncertain terms:  “When you did not do these things for the least of My brethren, you did not do them for Me.”[6]

    And while we are talking about the “least ones,” our Lord tells us elsewhere that “whoever causes one of these little ones to sin, it were better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”[7]

    Look at the great scandal today of those who attack the minds and the bodies of those “little ones” whom they ought protect—those of positions of authority in the Church who preach falsehoods to them and force their immoralities upon them—those in our civil governments who have taken their office by perjury, with no intention of honoring their sworn responsibilities—those parents who let their children run wild, neither supervising their behavior nor educating their minds.  Unrepentant, none of these will enter God’s eternal banquet.

    So, what are we to do in order to be assured a seat at God’s holy supper?

    Saint Luke wrote down more than what we read of the Gospel today.  The answer may seem cryptic, for our Lord was using the characteristically Hebrew form of Exaggeration—what today we call hyperbole.  Our Lord speaks of “hating” mother, father, wife and children, and of carrying a cross like His own.[8]  Again, this is exaggeration—Christ means no hatred, and certainly not for one’s own family.  Our Lord is speaking about having a willingness to renounce the security and pleasures of life, insofar as this is necessary to conform our wills to God’s will.  If relationship or property stand between us and God, then we must be willing to give them up.  Hopefully, none of us will be crucified, but the carrying of the cross is an apt metaphor for doing God’s will at any price.

    “He who wishes to follow me, let him deny himself and take up his cross....”[9]  Understand that this too is an invitation.  We are invited to follow Christ—to go with Him to partake of His eternal supper—we are invited to eternal joy in the kingdom of God..  We are invited to follow Christ—Christ has cleared the path—the obstacles are few, and the rewards are great.  We are all invited—let us not refuse!.



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