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Accept the invitation to the banquet

Archbishop Jason Gordon celebrates Mass at the shrine last Sunday. Fr Harold Imamshah is partly hidden. Photo: Jameel Boos

Imagine if eight years ago, there’s a knock on your door with an all-expenses-paid wedding invitation to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding in The United Kingdom. However, you declined the invitation because you had things to do.

“Can you ever imagine that you would ever make this choice?”

Archbishop Jason Gordon posed this question while delivering the homily at Mass, Sunday, October 11 at the Living Water Community Chapel.

According to the Archbishop, this is exactly what faithful did in the Gospel passage of Matthew 22:1–14.

Sunday’s gospel, he said, follows the Parable of the Wicked Tenants (Lk 20:9–18) where the King sent “servant after servant” to collect his share of the produce of the vineyard; but the tenants treated them “badly”.

“And Jesus is telling the same story using another image of the wedding banquet,” Archbishop Gordon said.

In Matthew’s Gospel, God reveals Himself not just as an heir to the owner, but the Son of the King, who is about to have a nuptial union to which everyone is invited.

“But you too busy…too many things [to do]: your house, your car, business, COVID… and therefore you not only cannot attend but you treating the messengers badly.”

The text, the Archbishop opined, is also “chiding” the leaders of Israel as they too treated the prophets “badly” when they came with news of the Messiah.

The first nature of the banquet is that it is all inclusive—everyone is invited; no-one is excluded.

“The price of the banquet is paid for you upfront before you even try to enter and you can enter at no charge,” Archbishop Gordon said.

The banquet is a sacrificial banquet where “death is put to death”.

“And therefore, through this banquet and because of this banquet, death where is your sting? And all the forces of death and destruction and negativity, where is your power?”

Archbishop Gordon asserted that regardless of how difficult things might be or how death seems to encroach upon us from every side, God is our Shepherd and there is nothing that we should fear.

He observed that in the midst of all the trials and tribulations of this life, the Lord has prepared a banquet of “incredible abundance” for us in the sight of our enemies. “And so, we’ll be fine dining while they will be licking chops.”

He urged faithful, when the moment arises to go to the banquet, Heaven, experience the banquet in all its fullness.

“Come to the banquet because God has invited you….Never count the invitation as a hassle in your life but see it as an honour and a privilege you have been given….Please do not tarry, do not side step, do not get distracted, come to the banquet because God your King is waiting for you,” Archbishop Gordon reminded.

By Kaelanne Jordan


Twitter: @kaelanne1