(Continuing to present both Tracks of the Lectionary)
You are invited to the wedding banquet. The king has been rejected by those he invited first and now you have this opportunity. And all the other poor, neglected, and generally dismissed people. And the food is wonderful. And there are oh so many guests. And it’s such a great time! So, when you get the invitation, do you keep your pj’s on, your grungy clothes and just attend? To prepare oneself for the party is one way to show respect for the king and the invitation and even the others coming to the party. Often, the focus is on the invitation to the party rather than how you should prepare yourself in order to attend. How are you prepared, beloved?
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Once more Jesus spoke to the people in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. Again he sent other slaves, saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet.’ But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his slaves, mistreated them, and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.’ Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so the wedding hall was filled with guests.. . .
From sermon4kids.com: “In this story, the King is God and, of course, Jesus is His Son. God is going to have a great celebration for His Son in Heaven and we have all been invited. I can’t imagine why, but some people will turn down God’s invitation. You’ve been invited ”
Scripture: October 11, 2020—Isaiah 25:1-9 (image); Psalm 23 (image); Philippians 4:1-9 (image); and Matthew 22:1-14 (image). Illuminating the scripture, an image and audio journey. Track 1 lesson and psalm are Exodus 32:1-14 (image) and Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23 (image). From the editor: Click on “image” following each appointed scripture for an illumination of that passage.
Collect: Lord, we pray that your grace may always precede and follow us, that we may continually be given to good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Reflection: Each day this week, ponder the attributes in Philippians 4:8 and make your own list of what to set your mind on toward living in thanksgiving. On Monday, meditate on whatever is true; Tuesday, whatever is honorable; Wednesday, just; Thursday, pure; Friday, pleasing; Saturday, commendable. On Sunday, consider what is excellent and worthy of praise. [from Feasting on the Word Worship Companion]
Saint Focus: Edith Cavell is another martyred in World War II. She was a nurse who had accepted a position in a hospital in Brussels when the war began. She treated both Allied and Axis wounded soldiers alike. As the war progressed, she began to hide Allied troops in her home, and for that she was arrested and convicted to be put to death. Although countries around the world objected to the sentence, she was killed by firing squad in 2015. Be sure to follow the link below as it gives more detail.
This week, the saints under consideration were:
- 8; William Dwight Porter Bliss, Priest, 1926, and Richard Theodore Ely, Economist, 1943
- 9; Robert Grosseteste, Bishop, 1253; AND Wilfred Thomason Grenfell, Medical Missionary, 1940
- 10; Vida Dutton Scudder, Educator and Witness for Peace, 1954
- 11; Philip, Deacon and Evangelist
- 12; [Edith Cavell, Nurse, 1915]
Image is “The Party” (2002) by James B. Janknegt (downloaded from https://www.bcartfarm.com/pp197.html on October 7, 2020).
Contemporary Parables: “Black Panther” (2018)—responsibilities of a nation to the rest of the world; “Polycarp” (2015), cannot live unless know what willing to die for; “Freedom” (2015), two men separated by 100 years share the same dilemma
: Again, this week, let’s look at Paul’s letter to the Philippians in which we are reminded to keep on doing what we have learned and received and heard and seen. Being a Christian is not always a cakewalk, and in this lesson, Paul chides the two women Euodia and Syntyche to quit fussing and get back to the work of discipleship. It’s easy to become sidetracked and to forget what’s really important in life. Paul offers some good tips for how to stay on track—rejoicing, avoiding worry, being gentle, praying, pursuing truth, justice, and honor, and all manner of good. Do you use these tactics to stay focused? (excerpted from “The Welcome Table” from the Stewardship of Life website.
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During these last weeks of the Church Year, we come to the section of Matthew’s Gospel marked by intense confrontations between Jesus and the religious establishment; these confrontations were to lead to his crucifixion. In today’s Gospel, Jesus is again teaching about the Kingdom. Here it is described in a way that antagonized the establishment. If those who are religious do not respond to God’s call, they will be replaced by others who do respond.
Track 1. In the first reading, the people of Israel lost patience when Moses did not return from the mountaintop. They built an idol and worshiped it as their god. God saw this and intended to destroy them but Moses interceded and God turned aside from destroying the people who he loved.
Track 2. In the first reading, Isaiah foresees the Kingdom of God as a great feast (the same image Jesus uses in today’s Gospel reading) and as a feast for all people, not just a few. This is one of the places in the Hebrew Scriptures where we see Israel’s understanding of God as a national or tribal God expanding into seeing God as God of all.
We continue to read Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Paul brings his letter to its conclusion, calling on the people to live in peace and unity and to help one another.
Our gathering in Eucharist is a foreshadowing of the Kingdom of God. We are called to bring all people into this fellowship and meal. In this way, the Kingdom of God is revealed and humanity’s hope is made more certain.
From The Rite Light: Reflections on the Sunday Readings and Seasons of the Church Year. Copyright © 2007 by Michael W. Merriman. Church Publishing Incorporated, New York.