This Sunday’s Gospel is for the 14th Sunday of Matthew chapter 22 verses 1-14, the parable of the great Wedding Feast. In examining the parable we soon realize it is an allegory. The King of the Wedding God and the Son in whose honor the feast is being prepared for is Jesus Christ.
The first guests invited to the wedding are God’s special people, the Jews, who refused the invitation and the ministry of Jesus, thus God allowed the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D., by the Roman armies.
The second group of guests were the gentiles, all of whom are invited whether good or bad, but the invitation comes with preparation and change in ones life. If one does not have a proper wedding garment adorned with the fruits of the Holy Spirit are cast out as unworthy. Jesus then draws the conclusion that many if not all are invited but few truly respond with all their heart and thus become God’s chosen. The Divine Liturgy is a spiritual banquet which is given by God in honor of Jesus Christ and all of us are invited guests, expecting that we put on our wedding garments adequately and wholeheartedly preparing ourselves through the gifts of the Holy Spirit for the Kingdom of God.
Today we also hear the Gospel from Mark chapter 8 verses 34-9:1, prescribed for the Sunday before the great Feast of the Elevation of the Holy Cross. This feast is the most important of the Fall season, celebrating God’s redeeming love and its renewable consequences for us. We seek redemption, the love of God in Christ shown forth in His Holy Cross. This great feast of the exaltation celebrates our redemption and renewed life through the blood of God, granting us eternal righteousness and salvation!
This is the joyous message of this great feast of the church which entreats us to follow the one who transformed the instrument of torture and death into the precious symbol of Life itself.
May this great feast, on which I was ordained 40 years ago, continue to guide us all to everlasting life in His Eternal Kingdom.