A big feast!

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

A king has prepared a wedding feast for his son. Everything was prepared in the best possible way. One thing was missing: the guests. The first group of guests did not want to go, they made up all sort of excuse for not attending. However, the king wanted to celebrate this big day, so he sent his servants to invite anyone they met. Many accepted the invitation, and the wedding feast could take place. The king was well satisfied. However, while going around, he noticed one among the guests who was not wearing the proper clothes and the king was angry. At that time, it was customary to have clothes prepared for the guests, so when they arrived, they could change into festive clothing. This was the reason for the king’s anger, because although this man had accepted his invitation, he defied him by not wearing the prepared clothing. This man showed great disrespect to the king and his son.

Our first thoughts may be: ‘how stupid of them, I’d accept the invitation in a jiffy!’ Yet, as things stand, we too have received this invitation. With which group of guests do we identify? The wedding feast is the eternal life to which everyone is invited. There are some who will not accept this invitation, others will, yet will do nothing to receive this gift, like the man who refused to wear the festive clothing. Many others accept the invitation and do their best to prepare themselves and be worthy guests of this feast. The wedding guests were all free to accept or not the invitation. God too, gives us freedom to choose. However, our choice will carry consequences. The man who chose not to wear the proper attire was sent outside. What are these clothes mentioned in the parable? The sacraments are part of this clothing. In Baptism we ‘put on Christ’. Putting on Christ, means that we model our lives on his. God knows that although we desire to follow him and do his will, at times we fall short. The sacrament of reconciliation however helps us to return on the right track. Our clothing gets dirty with our sin, but it is cleaned through our confession. The Eucharist is the food prepared for the feast. It gives us the strength to follow Jesus, so that our clothing remains beautifully clean.

Many invitations that we received have the initials RSVP, répondez s’il vous plaît, meaning that the person who sent the invite would like to know if we are accepting to attend or not. Through Baptism, we become members of God’s family, part of the Christian family. This is our invitation, and it too carries an RSVP. It is an invitation that we receive every day, and the way we live is our reply to this invite. Saying that we believe in God, is not enough. Our way of life must reflect that we are truly members of God’s family. This parable shows that God does not want us to be joyful only in eternal life. God’s wedding feast actually starts even during our earthly life! It is never too late to accept his invitation. A wedding feast means joy. Pope Francis has just published an encyclical Fratelli Tutti (All brothers) where he speaks of how living together as brothers and sisters brings great joy to our lives. 

A reading from the Gospel of Matthew (Mt 22, 1-14) 

Jesus again in reply spoke to the chief priests and elders of the people in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast, but they refused to come.

A second time he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those invited: “Behold, I have prepared my banquet, my calves and fattened cattle are killed, and everything is ready; come to the feast.”’ Some ignored the invitation and went away, one to his farm, another to his business.  The rest laid hold of his servants, mistreated them, and killed them.  The king was enraged and sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city.

Then he said to his servants, ‘The feast is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy to come. Go out, therefore, into the main roads and invite to the feast whomever you find.’ The servants went out into the streets and gathered all they found, bad and good alike, and the hall was filled with guests.  But when the king came in to meet the guests, he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment.  The king said to him, ‘My friend, how is it that you came in here without a wedding garment?’ But he was reduced to silence. Then the king said to his attendants, ‘Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’ Many are invited, but few are chosen.” 

The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ

  1. Read the Gospel story so that you are familiar with it.
  2. Reflect on what the Gospel story is saying to you. Which points would you highlight and why?
  3. Today you too have received an invite from the king for his son’s wedding feast. What will you reply?
  4. If your answer is no, what is keeping you back from accepting?
  5. If you are going to accept, what is God calling you to do today?
  6. Together with your family find the right time to read this gospel. The environment helps, so before you start, prepare:
    i. The Bible reading from St Matthew (22, 1-14);
    ii. A lit candle;
    iii. Cover the table with green cloth;
    iv. A computer/laptop with the reading and clips.
  7. Go through the steps with your children (2 age groups are being suggested).
  8. Feel free to adapt to your situation.
  9. Be creative 😊
  10. Go to the Prayer Corner section to continue praying as a family.

We have a party! We have received a party invitation! Are you happy when you receive a party invitation? Today we have another story. It is about a king who had a son who was going to get married. The king invites many people for this wedding. The king prepares everything to have a great big party. What did the people who received the invitation to this party do?

  • God loves us all
  • God invites us to a big party
  • To go to this party, we must do things which please God

We need:

  • printout of the placemat
  • colours
  • pencil

What a pity! The king is so sad. After all those preparations, none of the guests go to the party! What would you think, if you were having a birthday party, you invite your cousins and friends and they do not want to come? What would you do?

The king wanted to have the party just the same, so he invites other people, he did not mind who these people were, all he wanted was to have this party for his son. It is a bit strange isn’t it? Nevertheless, Jesus tells us this parable to show us how much God loves us. He wants to show us that God loves everyone, no matter who we are.

God is that king, and he wants to invite everyone to his party. While we will go to this everlasting party when we go to heaven, God’s party starts even now during our earthly life! When you receive an invitation for a party, what do you prepare? First of all, you tell the person who invited you that you will be going. Then, you choose your clothes and you will also buy a present to give to the person who invited you. We must prepare ourselves for God’s party as well. First, we must tell him ‘Yes, we want to be part of your family’. To go to our friend’s party, we bought a gift and prepared our clothes. To go to God’s party, we must do things which please him.

For example, is God pleased when we fight with our brothers and sisters?
Is God pleased when we keep our room tidy?
Is God pleased when we pray?
Is God pleased when we obey?
Is God pleased when we lie?

Today’s parable was about a big feast, with a lot of good food. At home, we too have good food to eat, which mummy, or daddy cook for us because they love us. Sometimes, underneath the plates, we have a placemat, so that the food does not turn cold quickly or to keep the table clean. In today’s activity you are going to do a placemat. Instead of food, on the plate, you are going to draw something which you can do and which pleases God, like when you help others or when you play with your friends. Then you may colour it and place it on the dining table to remember what you can do to please God so that you will be able to go to his party. It does not matter if it gets dirty. You can always draw another one with something else which makes God happy.

Sign of the cross.

Lord God, thank you for inviting me to the party. Thank you for loving me. Help me, so I please you with what I do and say.

Together we can listen to God loves me.

As in previous weeks, go to the Prayer Corner section to understand the Gospel better.

In today’s parable, things will not go as planned. There was once a king who wanted to have a big feast for his son’s wedding. The palace was prepared, it was cleaned and beautifully decorated, he ordered the best food and he also invited many guests. Yet, instead of going to the wedding feast, these guests made up all type of excuses not to go!

We will learn that:

  • God invites us every day to be part of His life 
  • Our party clothes are the way we live

We need:

  • Two A4 construction papers
  • Print out of the castle
  • Colours
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Today Jesus tells us that the Kingdom of God, which we call heaven, is like one big party. Everyone is invited. However, like those in the parable, some will make excuses and not go!

God does not send just one invitation. The king sent his servants to ask the guests to go to the wedding feast, more than once. God does the same thing. Everyday, God sends us an invitation so that we may meet Him.

You have surely received invitations for a party. Did any of these invitations have the initials, RSVP? Do you know what they mean? These are the first letters of a phrase in French (répondez s’il vous plaît) which means that the person who sent you the invitation would like to know if you are going to the party or not.

God invites us to meet Him during mass, through prayer, and through every good action we do.
Which among our actions please God? (children give examples)
Which among our actions do not please Him?
God invites us to meet with him during mass and in prayer. Do we ever make up excuses like the guests in the parable?

One among the wedding guests was not properly dressed. This made the king incredibly angry. It is the same when we make wrong choices. It is as if, we are dressed up beautifully, but with each wrong choice, our clothes become dirty. This man could have put on the party clothes, because the king had prepared them for him too. Yet the man refused to put them on, and he remained with his own dirty clothes. When we are sorry for our sins, and we go to confession, our clothes become clean once again. It would be best if we always made good choices. God knows that we will not always manage to do so. God is sad when we sin; but then, when we are sorry and go to confession, he is happy. And he will have a party!

In today’s activity we will make an invite for God’s party. Cut out the picture of the castle and glue it onto one of the construction papers. Colour it and decorate it as you like. Cut it from the middle (as indicated), so that one half is on one part of the construction paper, and the other, on the other half. Stick the sides (where there are the balloons) onto the other construction paper, so that the invitation opens like a door. Inside draw or write those things which we do, and which will please God, so that we too can go to his party.

Sign of the cross.

Lord God, thank you that you invite us every day to meet with you. Please give us the courage to accept this invitation. Today we also want to pray for those people, especially children, who never accept your invitation. We pray that they change their minds, so that they too know that you love them and want them to be happy.

As in previous weeks, go to the Prayer Corner section to understand the Gospel better.

How to use this space

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Sunday Scripture readings. Here you will find useful background and activities to better understand the upcoming Sunday's Scripture readings, helping you to connect the Scripture to daily life in a meaningful way.