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Vision: To Foster Catholic Men's Spirituality in Chicago Southland
Bishop Joseph N Perry: Matthew 21, 1-14
Most Reverend Joseph N Perry

This is one of my favorite parables of the Gospel:


“A king gave a wedding feast for his son.  He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the wedding, but they refused to come…”

Have you ever had the experience of setting up everything for a party or a dinner or some event, sent out invitations and no one shows up, or very few if any, or someone you especially wanted to be there but they proved a no-show?   What a disappointment particularly after all the attention to detail.  Jesus told a parable about a king who threw a wedding banquet for his son. The parable poignantly references God who arranged just such a party a long, long time ago but very few if any showed up.


Jesus invites us to his banquet at church each week on Sunday. Some never show up and never bother to say why.  Jesus likes to see us show up for his banquet. Why would anyone refuse an invitation from the man called Jesus? Without doubt, what we need to be happy, healthy and holy is right here, if only we have eyes to see and are not so caught up with ourselves.


Coming to the altar to be in the presence of the body and blood of Christ is a weekly invitation to the Lord's feast, yet we too often refuse the invitation.  To avoid doing so requires intentional effort to remind ourselves of who God is and who He is, in and for our lives.  Like those special invitations to an event that surprise us in the mail box, Sunday Mass interrupts our daily routine and begs for us to rearrange our schedule in order to oblige the host and His good thoughts about us to include us on his invitation list.  So, we may have to postpone a couple things, may have to bring out our good clothes with which to meet the Lord on his day, and take part in the sacred banquet he has prepared for us.


Our enthusiasm this way is put to the test often by family obligations, business affairs, the disappointments we encounter in life or lack of interest that has overtaken us, or our misplaced attitudes, and as a result, we put God’s invitation on hold or set it aside altogether. Too often we just don’t see God as playing any practical part in the complexities of our daily lives.


Faith, that vitamin pill of life, is the belief that God loves us despite ourselves and that we always have a place at his table. There is always a place-setting in church awaiting our arrival.  But, faith means little until that invitation is accepted.


Bishop Joseph Perry



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