Readings for Thursday August 20, 2009
Memorial of Saint Bernard, abbot and doctor of the Church
First Reading: Judges 11:29-39
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 40
Gospel: Matthew 22:1-14
Then the king said to his servants, ‘The feast is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy to come. Go out, therefore, into the main roads and invite to the feast whomever you find.’ The servants went out into the streets and gathered all they found, bad and good alike, and the hall was filled with guests. (Matt 8-10)
For my family and I, this summer seems to be filled with weddings. For the past several months, we have gotten numerous invitations and have sent in all of our RSVP's. It is always such an honor to get an invitation in the mail, to think that someone wants you to share in their special day. Of course the really great thing is that we always have a choice on whether or not to accept the invitation.
In today's gospel reading, we read about the parable of the wedding feast. Many were invited, but refused to come, instead opting to go back to work, or worse yet, abuse the messengers. It is such a shame that these men did not realize the important feast that they were invited to. We too are invited to a great wedding feast, the Kingdom of heaven. But it is up to us as to whether or not we accept this invitation. It is very important that we recognize and understand how the Lord invites us into heaven, but we must be willing to accept His terms and conditions. We must be willing to sacrifice for Him, to dedicate ourselves to a life of holiness and to the Lord. If we are able to do this, and to persevere to the end, then we will be welcomed into the feast with open arms.
God has sent all of us His invitation ... have you RSVP'd?
Father above, we thank you for the gift of this day. Lord, help us to accept your invitation with an open heart and open mind. Lord we pray that your will be done in our lives and that we can sacrifice the things of this world in order to live for you and to join you one day in heaven. Lord, we pray for all those who are ill and who are suffering. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.