Painting by Joey Velasco
What a beautiful promise from the book of Isaiah, "The Lord shall wipe the tears from their eyes..."
In the parable of Jesus, the king also possesses the same heart as God's, but the people are not attuned to his invitation.
The example of the man who is not appropriately dressed signifies the number of Catholics who want to receive God's gifts but have no time to serve Him in return.
St. Francis, in a classic film "Flowers of St. Francis" was seen inviting a rich man to give a loaf of bread. But even if he was constantly pushed away by him, he would return. He explained to the rich man that he didn't need the bread, but he was offering the man the chance to serve God.
Our parish workers are ashamed to go to our homes because we are too busy. But they want to constantly invite people because they are offering the opportunity for the neighbors to serve the Lord and to be generous with the gifts they received from Him.
Perhaps, we can reflect again on the first reading on what the Lord actually promised to those who believe in Him so that we may think twice before rejecting His invitation:
1. "He shall prepare for us a banquet of rich food" - in contrast with lack of food that the world is experiencing because of greed and selfishness. He wants to offer us abundant supply of food and jobs. Participate in God's work and "nobody will be found wanting." (Acts 4, 34)
2. "He will destroy Death forever" - Our bodies are subjected to death because of sickness. It is the same with spiritual Death brought about by a denial of the Lord to rule over our lives. Let Him lead us each day to life. Participate in life-giving activities, especially those that brings hope to people's lives.
3. "He will take away our shame" - because he will forgive us in Jesus. The quest for grace is far more exciting than a life of sin.
Think twice before we say no to God.