Bread In The Wilderness
Father Carl Diederichs
All Saints Catholic Church

The readings for October 12, 2014 are: Isaiah 25: 6-10a; Psalm 23; Philippians 4: 12-14, 19-20; Matthew 22: 1-14. Isaiah wrote the first reading about 745 years before Jesus arrived. Already the prophets were speaking about universalism, the call to all people to join in the banquet God has prepared on the holy mountain. All will be given choice wine and rich food. Isaiah is speaking about abundance. Oh, for that day!

Paul understood “abundance” well. Even when Paul was hungry he knew that God would supply his every need because he shared in the riches that God gave through Jesus. He promised us “God will supply whatever you need, in accord with his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”

Isaiah and Paul understood through much prayer and reflection that God is a God of abundance for all people. And Jesus, in the parable today has also grasped how lavish his Father is right now. And that is our challenge; do we see this abundant God as a rather distant God who did great things once upon a time but not right now?

First of all, those who were invited first should have known better.. They saw the invitation as an intrusion and refused to go. And even among those who did come, the folks he picked up along the highways and by-ways, one came without a wedding garment, not ready to celebrate, maybe to just stand near the wall of the banquet room, passively. He was very passive. When the king addressed him he was mute. So, he did not want to eat or dance, so why not tie him hands and feet because he had already done it to himself. But is he us?

I think so. The wedding garment would have been given to him at the door of the banquet hall. He didn’t put it on. We often speak about the wedding garment as our baptismal garment given when we are baptized. So, he had the garment somewhere, but didn’t put it on and so didn’t participate in the abundance of food and drink provided, free of charge.

We have been baptized. We were once excited about coming to the Welcome Table to eat and drink and share in the abundance of God’s love for us and all people. We were given the wedding garment that could never be taken off. But it seems like time and energy have slipped away from us and we no longer believe that God is still revealing Himself to us and urging us to make life abundant for people. The miracle of overcoming war, poverty, racism, and sexism, through the power of God’s love has dimmed. Seems like our hands are tied.

I hope we can reclaim our baptismal fervor, put on our wedding garment and create the banquet for others to share. God is a God of abundance, not a God of scarcity. God is lavish in His love for all of us.

We were anointed priest, prophet and servant leader after we were plunged into the waters of baptism. So, reclaim your inheritance and live in the abundance of God’s children.