Thirty-Fourth Week of Year II Friday, November 25, 2016
You are Invited
The Responsorial looks forward with longing to the “end time”: “Here God lives among his people” (Revelation 21:3; Psalm 84).
Revelation 20:1 to 21:2 describes heaven as the marriage between God and humanity.
And I saw a new Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down out of heaven from God, beautiful as a bride prepared to meet her husband.
We wonder what heaven will be like. And we should. Heaven is our future. It is where we will be forever, once our few years on this earth are over. If heaven is where — or how — we will live for all the rest of our existence (which will never end), we might want to have some idea of what it will be like!
Jesus’ preferred image for heaven was a party, a banquet, especially a wedding banquet1
What kind of party does Jesus throw? He gave us a hint when he told us what kind of parties we should give:
When you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind….
One of the people there, on hearing this, made the connection immediately and said, “Blessed is anyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” (Luke 14:13-15). He saw that the kingdom would unite the whole human race, without any distinctions, in one happy, celebrating community of love.
We get another hint at the wedding feast of Cana. It was a small-town wedding where there could not have been even a hundred guests. When the wine ran out, Jesus changed water into 136 gallons of wine! He made party history in Cana!
Then his disciples realized what he had come for. He came to do to human life on earth what those 136 gallons of wine did to a little country wedding feast. The Gospel’s comment is: “He revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him!”
The “bread” of the wedding feast is Jesus himself. This is what the Our Father teaches us to focus our daily desire on: Jesus as both our daily and future “bread,” the “Bread of life” that feeds our joy now and forever. This with perfect peace and reconciliation between all people and with God: “Forgive… as we forgive.” This is the kingdom that, as faithful stewards we are working to establish.
In Luke 21:29-33 Jesus tells us to interpret current events, good and bad in the light of their significance for the Kingdom: “When you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near.” It is happening now, but we need to be alert to it.
1 See Matthew 9:15; 22:2-14; 25: 1,10; Mark 2:19; Luke 12:36; 14:8, 14-17; 17:8; 22:20 (the Last Supper); John 2:1; 3:29; Revelation 19:7-9; 21:9; 22:17.
Initiative: Be Christ’s steward: look to a glorious future and work for it.