The 28th Sunday of the Year

Is 25:6-10; Phil 4:12-14 & 19-20; Mt 22:1-14 (Year A)

“On this mountain the Lord of hosts will prepare for all people a banquet of rich food, a banquet of fine wines, of food rich and juicy, of fine strained wines.” Food, shared with good company, is a universal expression of wellbeing. It is hardly surprising that throughout the Scriptures, both in the Old Testament and in the new, the banquet becomes an image of the Father’s overwhelming generosity to a sinful people.

Speaking to an increasingly faithless people, the prophet Isaiah made this banquet the fulfilment of every human longing. He set this banquet on God’s Holy Mountain, thereby understanding every life as a pilgrimage into the presence of God. Here our longing to know and be loved by God would find satisfaction. God himself would teach us his ways. Here our longing for peace would find its answer as swords were hammered into ploughshares, and spears into sickles. Here the wounds of a broken people would be healed. The Lord himself would wipe away every tear, removing the mourning veil covering the peoples. Death would be destroyed forever.

Isaiah, by his words, was seeking to describe an inexpressible longing at the heart of sinful humanity.

His image of the Messianic banquet touches our hearts, but it also asks questions. What do we truly hunger for? What are the longings that drive our desires? Jesus, in his life and the Eucharist, was revealed as the Bread of Life, the way to the fulfilment of Isaiah’s magnificent vision.

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