COME TO THE FEAST                Mtt.9.14-17

Many of us are invited to wedding celebrations. They are joyous occasions where we celebrate the new life of the married couple. There is wine and gladness, food and song. The wedding is a feast of thanksgiving, new life, and happiness. It is a day to be remembered and never forgotten. We rejoice in God who shares his life and love and pours out his abundant blessing upon the newly weds.

Imagine that you are the guest of the wedding celebration and you are invited to the reception. Imagine the Host calling you by name and inviting you to participate in the meal and celebration. Imagine the look on the face of your host if you turned down the invitation. Imagine the disappointment of your host if you say that you have already eaten and that you won’t be joining in the reception. What a disgrace, a disappointment – why would you do such a thing?

Jesus in the gospel says to those questioning his behavior on the discipline of fasting. The Pharisees are wondering why the disciples of Jesus do not fast as the disciples of John had done so in the past. Similar to the above scenario Jesus presents to them the analogy of the wedding. How can one fast when the Bridegroom is present. What a terrible shame and disappointment if the guests did not celebrate while the Bridegroom was in their midst. There will come a time when he will be no more – so take up the opportunity – come to the feast.

The Church teaches us that Jesus is indeed the Bridegroom and that she is his Bride. Jesus has given his life for the sake if his bride the Church (see Eph 5) In The Old testament God relates with Israel as His Bride. In the New Testament Jesus weds himself to the members of the church – spotless and uncontaminated and presented as a gift to the Father. This is the meaning of the new wine poured into new wineskins. The good news of Jesus and the sending of his Spirit (new wine) inaugurate a new way of living, loving, serving and worshipping of the LORD. New wineskins are needed. The disciples and those to succeed them are to proclaim the Christ. As new wineskins, they become the vehicles of the message. They carry the new word of love and forgiveness to a needy world. They are the new wineskins.

Come to the Feast: There is a song that we sing in our churches according to this theme. We are called to come to the table of plenty where God provides for all of our needs. The Eucharist is the great banquet, the perfect wedding feast where we can feast on the love, forgiveness and peace of our God made manifest through the death and Resurrection of Jesus.
Do I attend Mass as though a wedding feast? Do I see myself as a member of the Body of Christ, his Bride? How do I participate in this wedding feast? Do I see it as an important celebration of my life?

Lord, I than k for your love. I thank for inviting me to the Feast. May I always feast on your mercy and live. Grant me grace to love you and serve you all the days of n my life. Amen