Today’s readings all have the common thread of meals and sharing woven throughout. We once again start with the Prophet Isaiah. This week we are at a party at the end of time on Mount Zion. Isaiah writes “The Lord will provide for all people a feast of rich food and choice wine…and he will destroy the veil that veils all peoples and wipe away ever tear” This is the kingdom of God in which we are waiting. The important thing to take from this reading is if we take a look at the guests at the party it is not only the Jewish people but all people who have been invited. We will all break bread together, this is symbol of friendship is found later on at the Last Supper and the story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus. It is through the sharing of a meal that kinship develops and at every celebration of the Eucharist we share in a meal with all other.
As we turn to the second reading we are greeted with a letter from Paul to the Philippians, in his letter Paul thanks the people of Philippi for sending some money, as Paul was in prison as usual. So in this reading Paul says that I’ve known hunger and I’ve known feasts and we can do all things because of God and because there are people out there who can help. Paul didn’t ask from the Philippians to send him money to perhaps bail him out of jail but they did so out of concern for him. We must be concerned about other and share in their struggles as well as their joys.
In the Gospel once again we encounter some parables in Matthew. This is the wedding parable, a King is having a wedding feast for his son and the king sends out his servants to get the invited guests, they refuse to come, so he sent another servant to get those invited some ignored the message and other killed the servant. Then the king sent out his troops to destroy the city and murder those who killed the servant, so then the king sent out yet another servant to get whomever is on the streets to come and the hall was filled. This is where some will stop today but there is a little more to the story. The king now went out into the guests and he noticed a man not in wedding dress and he has the servants throw the man out “as many are invited but few are chosen.” This is a weird parable some scholars have take it to be some indication of how the Jewish people have missed the whole Messiah thing and it is now the Gentiles who are the lucky ones. I do not like that take on the reading, it seems like it is more about being prepared as we never know what is in store for us each and everyday, so wear some nice looking clothes. However the king, so the parable goes, only finds one person who isn’t wearing wedding clothes and throws them out, so it is more along the lines of sharing with all who come, like at the banquet in Isaiah.