Scripture Reflection, October 15, 2023, 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Isaiah 25:6-10a Philippians 4:12-14, 19-20 Matthew 22:1-14
Do you recall the folk song of a few years ago, “Cat’s in the Cradle”, by Harry Chapin? The song, told from a father’s perspective, tells of the birth of his son… "My child arrived just the other day.”… through the boy’s growing up years… “When you coming home, dad,? Can you teach me to throw?”. Over the years the son continues to invite his father to be a more active part of his life. If you remember the song, eventually the boy is grown with a family of his own and is now too busy to fit his dad into his life.
In today's gospel a king sends out invitations to his son’s wedding feast. Again and again he invites. Again and again his invitations are turned down. And like the busy father in the folk song, the wedding guests refuse the invitation until it's too late.
Just so, the Spirit of God breaks into our lives in countless ways: We see a newspaper article. A memory resurfaces in our mind. A scripture passage speaks to our heart. And we are invited to live the gospel more fully: We are invited to reconcile with someone from whom we have become estranged. We are moved to support a charity or work for a just cause we have previously ignored. We are motivated in a new way to care for our own health, or for our personal relationships, or our spiritual life. A close friend or family member is deeply hurt by a policy or practice and our heart is opened in a way that causes us to rethink some of our own opinions.
In the gospel, the would-be guests who refused the invitation are treated harshly by the king. Not so with our God, who continues constantly to reach out in love to us.
But life is real and the folk song carries some wisdom. Sometimes it's too late. Too late to reconcile, too late to repair that relationship, too late to change your mind… Too late…too late…
Received any invitations lately…?
by: Pat Schnee