The Parable of the Great Feast -- Part 1
For the Second Sunday after Trinity Gospel reading, we are given the Lukan version of the Great Feast. We will then hear the Matthean version of the Great Feast on the Twentieth Sunday after Trinity. While Luke’s version does not explicitly mention that the feast is a wedding banquet, the version in Matthew’s Gospel does.
We see marital imagery all through the Bible. The Old Testament describes God as the husband of Israel, and in the New Testament we see Jesus performing His first miracle at the Cana wedding feast. The Great Feast story in St. Matthew’s Gospel is a parable where Jesus compares the invitation to salvation to being invited to a wedding.
The significance of the Incarnation of Our Lord is the marriage between God and Man. In John 3, John Baptist declares that he is the best man at the wedding where Jesus is the bridegroom and the Church is His bride. In the Revelation of John we are told that in heaven the marriage will be consummated, and, as Jesus also alludes to, there will be the greatest of all receptions held there.
The allegory of a wedding, where the covenant between God and His people is akin to the relationship between a man and his wife, builds in the Old Testament and crescendos in the New Testament. Finally, in the Revelation of John, we are given this apocalyptic truth that our relationship with Jesus is very much like a marriage.
In the Old Testament, God calls Hosea to be a prophet and tells him to marry a woman named Gomer. Once they are wed Gomer proves to be continuously promiscuous. When Hosea complains to God about the miserable state of his marriage, God’s response is one where He reveals that His relationship with Israel is in a similar sorry state, with His “bride” continuously chasing after false gods. But ultimately Hosea’s story is an icon of God’s unconditional love. The Lord loves His chosen people despite their constant acts of idolatry.
In the New Testament, Jesus gives us parables like the Great Feast to teach us that heaven is like a wedding reception and the guest list includes all of mankind. All are invited, but tragically not all will accept this invitation. In his letter to the Ephesians Paul teaches us that the intimacy of the relationship between a husband and wife is like the intimacy of the relationship between Christ and the Church. Finally, in the Revelation of John, we are given this apocalyptic truth that our relationship with Jesus is very much like a marriage.
Next week we will further examine what the Revelation of St. John has to say about this subject, and what it means for us and our relationship with God.
--Fr. Deacon Chris
REMEMBER THE WORDS OF THE LORD JESUS, HOW HE SAID, IT IS MORE BLESSED TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE
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• canned meats (chicken, corned beef, spam)
• peanut butter
• canned vegetables (corn, green beans - (regular and low sodium)
• individual fruit cups (low sugar)
• canned fruit (low sugar)
• cereal (low sugar)
• pasta (regular and gluten-free)
• instant potatoes
• Macaroni & cheese kits
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Updated List of Needs for MaRIH Center (crisis pregnancy center)
MaRIH Center with its all volunteer staff has been providing help to mothers-to-be and mothers in need. If you can provide some of the items that are needed, please do so. (You can leave the donations where the food for the food bank is collected on the pew in the undercorft.)
Baby wipes (an ongoing great need)
Diapers (sizes 1, 4, 5, & 6)
Sleep Sacks: Girls 0-6 mos.
Socks: Boy/Girl 2T
Short sleeved onesies: Boy/Girl 3-6 mos.
Diaper rash ointment
Aldi, Giant, Safeway & Walmart gift cards (for food!)
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