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常年期第28主日 HOMILY 28th Sunday OT A October 15, 2023

常年期第28主日 HOMILY 28th Sunday OT A October 15, 2023


Fr. Anson Antony


When I was a theology student, I frequently volunteered to assist neighboring parishes. As a theology student, I often served as an altar server during the Sunday Mass, which was specifically dedicated to the parish's teenagers and young members. The parish priest at the time was relatively young, and his homilies were profoundly theological. I was engrossed in his eloquent sermon when he suddenly halted his Sunday homily to address a teenage girl who was dressed inappropriately for the occasion. He had her stand up in front of the congregation and instructed her to return home with the admonition to "dress appropriately and attend the next Mass."

This incident was quite shocking to me, and I approached the pastor with a friendly inquiry about the morality of his actions. He explained, "Look, brother, it's a lesson for all of them, encouraging them to be mindful of their behavior in the church, to dress respectfully when attending, and, most importantly, to show reverence to God through their attire." In any case, the young girl left the church but later returned for the second Mass, this time dressed in a more suitable manner.

While reflecting on today's Gospel we could see a similar situation in the parable told by Jesus. Let us try to understand the symbolic meaning of today's Gospel.

According to the church fathers, the King in the parable is God and the King’s Son is Jesus. The marriage is symbolic of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, the union of Christ’s Divine and human natures in one Person (St. Gregory). During the nearly 2000 years between Abraham and Christ, God sent Moses and the Prophets to call His Covenant people to the great wedding feast of the Gospel. The invited guests were the Jewish people. At first, Jesus, the Christ (the Messiah), invites the people of the Old Covenant, the Jews, to join this great marriage feast which is now ready — but they fail to respond. The messengers the King had sent to invite the people were the Hebrew prophets. The second and third sets of messengers are Christ Himself and then Christian missionaries.

Now the question is all about the wedding feast: In the context of today's Gospel, the wedding feast can be symbolized as the heavenly banquet. This heavenly banquet represents the ultimate union and communion with God in the afterlife, a place of eternal joy and divine fellowship. Just as the earthly wedding feast in the parable signifies the union of Christ's Divine and human natures and the call to discipleship, the heavenly banquet represents the culmination of the Christian journey, where believers, clothed in righteousness and grace, come together to partake in the eternal joy and divine presence of God.

According to Catholic theology, the catholic church is the foretaste of the heavenly banquet. The Mass, in particular, is seen as a reflection and anticipation of the heavenly liturgy and communion with God.

The word “Church” is derived from the Greek word ekklesia, which means those having been called or invited. We are the ones who have responded to Jesus’ invitation. Hence, the first lesson taught by the parable is that God invites everyone, but each of us needs to give God’s invitation priority over every other good and important thing in life. The second lesson for all of us is that it’s not enough just to show up. We must be properly “dressed up.” In his Letter to the Colossians, Paul directs his converts, “As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. … Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Col 3:12-14). In the Letter to the Ephesians, he talks about our clothes as a spiritual armor: “Therefore put on the whole armor of God: … fasten the belt of truth around your waist and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the Gospel of Peace. With all of these, take the shield of Faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph 6:11-17). It’s easy to get the picture: the wedding garments God wants us to do are woven with acts of Faith, Love, Hope, kindness, compassion, humility, patience, meekness, Truth, and Holiness.

“Wearing the wedding garment” means living out the Gospel message. We are called to live the moral and ethical values embodied in Jesus’ life on earth in the flesh and time and in his teachings. In other words, the “wedding garment” in the parable refers to true discipleship rather than uncommitted membership. The parable means that when one freely accepts Christ as one’s Lord and Savior, one must dedicate one’s life to Jesus. In other words, the Christian must be clothed in the spirit and teaching of Jesus.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that the Eucharist is the foretaste of the Messianic Banquet. God Incarnate waits for us in His House of Worship, offering Himself for us on our altars and inviting us to the sumptuous Banquet of His own Body and Blood for the nourishment of our souls in the Holy Eucharist. Hence, we should never approach to receive Jesus in Holy Communion “improperly dressed”—that is, without being in the state of Sanctifying Grace given us in Baptism. St. Paul says we eat and drink condemnation on ourselves when we approach the Sacrament in mortal sin (1 Cor 11:27-32). Just as the king provides clothes for the guests, so Jesus provides the Sacrament of Penance to cleanse our soul, but if we don’t go to confession and instead come to Communion unworthily, we’re just like the person in the parable who nonchalantly tries to show up for the banquet in his own dirty clothes rather than in the vesture given.

According to St. Gregory, men and women who come to the Wedding Feast with hatred in their hearts do not wear the acceptable garment spoken of in the parable. Men and women whose Faith and love are cold, who attend Church only for social reasons, to show off their clothes and jewelry, or to visit with acquaintances, are not dressed in a Wedding Garment pleasing to the King, Christ Jesus. Our Wedding Garment is made of our grace-assisted works of justice, charity, and holiness.

Let us examine ourselves to see whether we have fully accepted God’s invitation to the Messianic banquet, and let us remember that banqueting implies friendship and intimacy, trust, and reconciliation with Christ Who loves us every day of our lives.




常年期 (甲年) 第二十八主日

Fr. Anson 主日證道中譯本



這件事令我感到非常震驚,我友善地詢問本堂神父,他的行為是否符合道德標準。他解釋說:「看,弟兄,這對所有人來說都是一個教訓,鼓勵他們注意自己在教會中的行為,參加聚會時衣著得體,最重要的是,透過穿著表達對天主的敬畏。 」無論如何,這位年輕的女孩離開了教堂,但後來又回來參加第二次彌撒,這次她穿著更合適的衣服。


根據教父們的解釋,比喻中的國王是天主,國王的兒子是耶穌。這場婚姻象徵耶穌基督的降生成人,即基督的神性和人性在一個人身上的結合(St. Gregory)。在亞巴郎和基督之間近2000年的時間裏,天主派遣梅瑟和先知們呼召祂的聖約子民參加福音的盛大婚宴。受邀的客人是猶太人。起初,耶穌,基督(默西亞),邀請舊約的子民,猶太人,參加這個現已準備好的偉大的婚宴但他們沒有回應。國王派來邀請人民的使者是希伯來人先知。第二組是基督本人,第三組是天主教傳教士。



「教會」一詞源自希臘文ekklesia,意思是被召叫或被邀請的人。我們是回應耶穌邀請的人。因此,這個比喻的第一個教訓是:天主邀請每個人,但我們每個人都需要將天主的邀請,放在生活中一切美好而重要的事情之上。第二個教訓是:只是出席是不夠的。我們必須得體地「裝扮」。聖保祿在寫給哥羅森人書中指導信徒:「為此,你們該如天主所揀選的,所愛的聖者,穿上憐憫的心腸、仁慈、謙卑、良善和含忍。。。在這一切以上,尤該有愛德,因為愛德是全德的聯繫。」(哥 3:12-14)。在給厄弗所人書,他談到我們的衣服是屬天主的軍裝:「所以要穿上天主的全副武裝。。。所以要站穩!用真理作帶,束起你們的腰,穿上正義作甲。以和平的福音作準備走路的鞋,穿在腳上。此外,還要拿起信德作盾牌,使你們能以此撲滅惡者的一切火箭;並戴上救恩當盔,拿着聖神作利劍,即天主的話。(弗 6:11-17)。很容易理解:天主希望我們的婚禮服裝是由信、望、愛、仁慈、同情、謙卑、耐心、溫柔、真理和聖潔的行為編織而成的。


天主教會的教理教導說,聖體聖事是默西亞宴會的預先品嘗。天主降生成人在祂的聖堂等待著我們,在祭台上為我們奉獻自己,並邀請我們參加祂自己的聖體和聖血的豐盛宴會,以滋養我們的靈魂。因此,我們永遠不應該「衣衫不整」地領受聖體聖事中的耶穌也就是說,沒有處於洗禮中賜給我們的聖化恩寵的狀態。聖保祿說,當我們帶著大罪領受聖禮時,我們吃喝就是對自己的定罪(格林多前書 11:27-32)。正如國王為客人提供衣服,耶穌也提供告解聖事來淨化我們的靈魂,但如果我們不去懺悔,而是不配參加聖體聖事,我們就好像比喻中的人一樣,漫不經心地試圖穿著自己污穢的衣服而不是穿著給予的服裝出席宴會。

根據St. Gregory的說法,帶著仇恨來婚宴的男人和女人是不穿著比喻中所說的可接受的禮服。那些信仰和愛情冷淡的男人和女人,只是為了社交原因去教堂,炫耀自己的服裝和珠寶,或者去拜訪熟人,就是沒有穿著令君王耶穌基督滿意的結婚禮服。我們的婚禮服裝是由我們恩典輔助的正義、慈善和聖潔的工作製成的。