Monday, October 10, 2011

Come to the Feast

For the past 3 Sundays, we have been listening to parables that likened the Kingdom of God to a vineyard in which the Lord invited us to work and collect for him the harvest. However, lest we say that religion is an oppressive toil for a God who is nothing but a taskmaster, the Lord gives us a parable that likens the His Kingdom to a wedding feast. Instead of hearing the command, “Go and work in my vineyard,” we hear today a very cordial invitation: “Everything is ready. Come to the feast.” It is a feast that the Lord prepared for us on His holy mountain – a feast of “juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines.” It is an invitation too good to resist. First of all, the one who prepared and invited us to this feast is the Lord our God. Better than an English Royal Wedding, the affair is the wedding Feast of God’s Son to His Bride, the Church. Who of us would ever think that he is worthy to be invited as a wedding guest to the marriage of the Lamb and of his Bride? This is indeed an honor too great to pass.

And yet, the surprising thing of all is that so many refuse this invitation because they think they have better things to do: one went to his farm and another to his business. And this is the problem of our modern world: it has measured life according to a paradigm of achievements or accomplishments that it has forgotten the value of feasts. Things have become too bland for a world that has assumed the likeness of a corporation which is higly concerned with mechanical productivity. And so to keep the physical well being, it simply provides for us the gym where play has become an individualistic routine of exercises. We think that time will be used more wisely in work than in accepting the invitation to “Come to the feast.”

And this is a pitiful situation because we do not know the joy we are missing. Being too preoccupied with our own affairs, we fail to appreciate the graces that God lavishes upon us and also the beauty of the eternal life to which He invites us. As St. Faustina remarked in her diary: “O Jesus, I see so much beauty scattered around me, beauty foir which I give You constant thanks. But I see that some souls are like stone, always cold and unfeeling. Even miracles hardly move them. Their eyes are always fixed on their feet, and so they see nothing but themselves.” (Diary 1284.)

God gave us 6 days to work and requires us to return to Him the 7th. He wants to us stop working on the 7th so that we may learn to lift our eyes from being fixed to ourselves and look around to see the wonderful things God has done for us. As He rested on the 7th day to declare the goodness of what He has done, so should we imitate Him in declaring: “:Lord, You are truly good. Everything You have done is good!” Sunday is not a rest day so that we can think about ourselves. It is a rest day so that we can think about God. This is God’s day. This is God’s feast. This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in him!

For once, let us not think about ourselves. For once, let us think about God. Let us trust that we do not lose when we offer this day to Him. Let us trust enough that because we return this day to Him, “God will fully supply whatever you need in accord with the glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Only by doing so that we shall appreciate life for what it truly is. We shall realize that life is more than the food we eat and the clothes we wear. We shall realize that it is a blessing – it is grace upon grace. We shall realize that we are destined for something greater, for something eternal. And then we shall be grateful. “You have surrounded my life with Your tender and loving care, more than I can comprehend, for I will understand Your goodness in its entirety only when the veil is lifted. I desire that my whole life be but one act of thanksgiving to You, O God.” (Diary, 1285.)

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