Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Religious)
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we heard about the Lord Jesus who told His disciples and the people, the story about a master of the house who conducted a great feast and invited many people to come for the feast. And yet, all those who had been invited by the master refused to come, when his servant went to them and asked them to come for the feast.
Why is this so? If we noticed, all those who have been invited had their own reasons why they could not make it or why they did not want or could not go for the feast. One mentioned how he has business to attend to, and another has a son who is getting married, and surely the others also had various other reasons that they used as excuses to avoid having to come to the party organised by that master of the house.
In this parable, Jesus revealed to us all, the nature of our wickedness and our failures to follow the commandments of the Lord, as shown through the story of the master and the disobedient and unwilling guests. The master of the house is clearly representing the Lord our God, and the servant whom the master sent to the guests represents the prophets and messengers whom God had sent to His people.
And the guests represent all of God’s people, those whom He has called to His eternal banquet, the banquet of joy and happiness, that is the reunion between us and our Lord. And He has freely given His invitation for us to come and join Him in the joy of His blessings, and yet, it was also many of us who rejected Him and His offer, and in many cases, we even ridiculed those whom He had sent to remind us and call us to Himself.
What is the reason behind our indignant and haughty attitude? What is the cause of this wicked act and lack of gratitude? It is our preoccupation and inability to resist the many temptations that the devil placed on our path in order to block our way as we move towards Him and to our salvation. Instead, he gave us many goods and tempting things to distract us and he hoped that instead of looking towards God, we would look towards him instead.
And thus, that was just like how so many of the invited guests refused to come to the master’s banquet because of their own occupations and busy schedules. Let us all ask ourselves, is it not the same with our own attitudes? Is it not just like how we often reject the Lord and abandon Him for other pursuits such as to satisfy our own greed and desires?
Is it not just as how we often neglect our faith life and prayer life in the name of following our heart’s wishes and wants? We often forget about the Lord our God and only look for Him when we are in trouble or in difficulty. Yes, that is our nature, that in good times we are so preoccupied with ourselves and satisfying ourselves, and then when difficult times come, we hurry to seek the Lord and beg for His help, and when He apparently does not answer us, we often become angry at Him and even curse at Him.
This is our bad tendency and our bad habit. And if we do not change from this habit, we will fall into eternal damnation. Those invited guests who refused to come for the feast truly have no place in the master’s banquet, and their places will be given to another, just as the master asked his servants to gather others to come for the feast instead, even the poor and the destitute.
This is a lesson for us, not to be proud or be too filled with our own ego. We must not think of ourselves as privileged and worthy just because of our own achievements and good things we have in this world. On the contrary, we have to be humble and we have to realise how many debts we had that God had forgiven. He has forgiven us our faults and sins, and He is willing to welcome us back into His embrace, if we are willing to make a difference to ourselves and change.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, perhaps all of us ought to look at the examples shown by St. Martin de Porres, the saint whose feast we are celebrating today. He is a religious and a dedicated servant of God, born in what is today Peru in South America. He lived through a time of difficulty, a time of rampant prejudice and injustice, as someone born in the land that was a colony of the Spanish Empire, he encountered many prejudices and injustice, and once was barred from being able to devote himself fully to the religious life.
But he did not give up, and rather than succumbing to prejudice or even hatred, he continued on to do his works and devotions to many people, especially the poor and the less fortunate. He ministered to the sick and dying, and he devoted himself to those who have little or none, unloved and abandoned. Despite all fhe difficulties and challenges that he encountered, we can see now how much honour and glory he now receives and is a part of in the Lord’s kingdom.
Therefore, brethren, shall we not do the same as well? Shall we not also commit ourselves to good and selfless deeds for the benefit of others? If we show care and love for all those who are around us, then truly we shall receive the everlasting reward of our God. Shall we all consider this and thus do our best to resist our own temptations and the pleasures of this world that we may receive greater joy in the world that is to come?
Let us all walk in the footsteps of St. Martin de Porres and dedicate ourselves more and more to those who are less fortunate around us, and let us all willingly and joyfully go to the banquet that the Lord has prepared for us, and go in to that banquet worthily, donning the vestment of purity, chastity and love, that having shared in His eternal joy, we may forever enjoy His grace and blessings. God bless us all. Amen.