August 18, 2022 – Thursday of the 2oth Week in Ordinary Time
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/081822.cfm)
In the parable of wedding banquet today, Jesus describes to us the Kingdom of Heaven as a celebration party where everybody is invited to attend & participate.
Imagine it is your special day – perhaps your debut or your 50th birthday where you invited all your family, relatives & friends. As the day arrives, somehow you can deduce all your invited guests into these categories. First, the excellent guest who are invited, attended & participated in your celebration day. Second, not-so good guests: those who are invited but did not attend, however valid or invalid their excuses may be. Third, the unworthy guests: those who are invited & attended but did not participate. These are guests who came with their own self agenda rather than yours, not properly dressed for the occasion, avoid to socialize with other guests, stays mostly outside, decline to partake in the meal, late to arrive-early to go, & worse, even expect to bring something home from the party.
Funny, it may be, but we do have experienced these types of invited guests: the excellent (angayan), the not so-good (way ayo), and the unworthy (way angay) guests. So, what kind of invited guest are you?
Perhaps we may also ask: What kind of guests are we in the Lord’s Eucharist? As foretaste of God’s Kingdom, the Eucharist is our Lord’s celebration of faith & life. We are all invited to attend, participate, & celebrate in His Eucharist. On these pandemic times where & when we are somehow restricted & limited to partake in the Holy Mass, perhaps we examine ourselves as what kind of Eucharist guests we have been & we should be. Have we been & are we an excellent-worthy guests, irresponsive & not so-good guests, or unworthy guests?
Many times, I was asked: “Father, do we need to, have to and ought to Go to mass every Sunday?” I usually answer this with an advice: “Next time, before you go to mass, listen to yourself first and ask these questions: Who are you before God now? What do you truly long for in life? What are the graces and blessings that you receive this past week? What should you do to thank Him for all these?” In other words, before going to Mass, as preparation, acknowledge first how blessed you are, and these will move you to come and celebrate. Not out of obligation, necessity, convenience, and preference, we come and attend Eucharist to celebrate and give thanks to God for all the blessings He has given, showered, and continually offering us today.
Though unworthy we may be, Blessed are we always for God still invites us to participate & celebrate in the banquet of Life with Him. May we be God’s excellent & honorable guests to be chosen worthy of His Kingdom & of His sacred banquet. Amen.