28th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 2017

28A.   Isaiah 25:6-10a.  This is from the section of Isaiah called the Apocalypse of Isaiah, where Isaiah looks to the victory of Yahweh over the forces of evil to which God’s people had succumb, leading to their captivity; and, in turn, for those who remain loyal to the Lord.  The theme of this Sunday’s readings is that God provides for those who choose God.  ‘On this mountain’, probably meaning God’s seat among his people, Jerusalem, Yahweh provides a victorious feast for his people who have stayed with him through their reproach or shame of captivity, to which they have been delivered because of their sin.  In our New Testament world, this food and wine has been seen as a reference to the bread and wine of the Eucharist.  The veil, shroud or pall is the death of sin or rejection of obedience to God that God wipes away or swallows up by his grace, the force of his salvation from our sins.  “Let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!  For the hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain,” Jerusalem, from which he reaches out to provide salvation to all who accept him as their God and King.

Matthew 22:1-14.  The parable of the invitation to the wedding feast of the king’s son would most readily interpreted as the invitation to heaven; however, I personally prefer to think of it as the invitation to dine each day here on this earth as well as in heaven with the king’s Son, Jesus.  Those who refuse primarily would be the people and leaders of the Chosen people; but secondarily are all those of all times who refused the invitation of the grace of God that leads to the feast.  Rejection of the invitation to enjoy God’s grace leads to the fires of hell.  I interpret the lack of the wedding garment to mean to superficially enter into church life without participating fully in heart and mind.  To feast daily with the Lord is to enjoy his life and person as an essential part of our life and to live in submission of his dominion as king over us.

Philippians 4:12-14.  Paul says he knows “of living in abundance and of being in need. I can do all things in him who strengthens me.”  God provides through thick and thin if we have him as our life.  Paul thanks the Philippians who help him in his difficulties.  He calls upon the Philippians to depend upon God as he has done. “My God will fully supply whatever you need, in accord with his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”

Psalm 23.  “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”  “You spread the table before me.”  “My cup overflows.”  The theme of the generosity of the Lord, his endless providence, continues in this psalm.  He makes our life, here and hereafter, an endless feast with the goodness of having him as the foundation of our daily life.  But also he shepherds us.  “He guides me in right paths”  “I fear no evil; for you are at my side with your rod and your staff that give me courage.”  “Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life.”  That does not mean that life is easy and painless but that, through it all, he is with me.  I live daily in his strength.  I am always secure and joyful.