October 15, 2023 Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Welcome Father Eckhard Today’s Readings: Is 25:6-10a | Phil 4:12-14, 19-20 | Mt 22:1-14

“Behold, I have prepared my banquet, my calves and fattened cattle are killed, and everything is ready; come to the feast.” (from today’s Gospel)

[…in the First Reading today, we hear about a huge feast.] There we find the famous invitation from the Lord of Hosts, full of unstinting promise. “A feast of rich food and choice wines,” Isaiah says.[…] Sunday’s Gospel reading also has a sumptuous feed. The king gets his very best livestock fattened up, seasoned, readied for cooking, with invitations sent out. […] Some people refused outright to come. Others simply ignored the invitation as if it had not been given, and others “laid hold of his servants, mistreated them, and killed them.” The king punished these and then invited in street people.

Food is meant to be enjoyed, not refused.

But with so many people starving in today’s world, how dare we fatten ourselves up with rich food and every other kind of riches? Shouldn’t we much more becomingly abstain and deny ourselves? Isn’t the “First World” currently fattening itself on food far more lavish than the ancient world could ever have even imagined? Advertisements in the United States tell us we should luxuriate, should pamper ourselves, should not hold back. “Who says you can’t have it all,” they say.

How are we to respond, we who try to be faithful to God and God’s promises?

Remember that Jesus feasted as well as fasted. He abstained from food for forty days at the beginning of his public ministry; but later on his words were, “the Son of Man came eating and drinking — and they said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners’” (Mt. 11:19). How would he have gotten such a reputation except by enjoying his times at meals with others?

Which is it for us, then, fasting or feasting?

I think the answer is simple yet difficult to grow into. I think we are meant to receive humbly and to give to others as well. The mistake is to adopt a stance of, on the one hand, only receiving (getting, grabbing) or on the other hand, only giving (denying oneself for the sake of the other). Sunday’s readings invite us to come into the kingdom, to open up, to eat, to enjoy what is there.

To receive as Jesus did.

He went deep, accepting all things as coming from God’s hand. When it was time to let go of it all—life, friends, peace, and possessions—he did that with love.

Receive and give. Jesus wants us to receive his life and then give it out to the world.

Source of reflection: Copyright © 2023, John B. Foley, SJ, https://liturgy.slu.edu/28OrdA101523/reflections_foley.html Source of image: “Parable of the Great Banquet”, Brunswick Monogrammist (ca. 1525), via https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brunswick_Monogrammist_Great_Banquet.jpg


  • 15 October - As we had to cancel last week’s Mass kind of short notice, apologies to all those who weren’t aware and only found out after arriving at church! Our social gathering and children’s church also were affected by this. We regret not being able to catch up on these, but look forward to take these up again at the beginning of next month. For our next opportunity for confessions, we will keep you updated.