October 8, 2020
In psychology there is a principle that states the more we like/love someone, the more we want to show them who we are; we are eager to let them know who we are. Keep this principle before you as you look at today’s readings and biblical texts for today’s liturgy.
Today, as often, Jesus Christ is the focus of the relationship between God and humankind. And we are one with Christ in the Eucharist. Today’s Gospel invites us to choose to enter God’s Kingdom where true love flourishes.
The Entrance Antiphon is a strong invitation to choose to enter God’s Kingdom. God is our God of love Who forgives so that we can become real and Who is always ready to forgive.
The First Reading comes from the prophet par excellence, Isaiah. Note the huge promises and power here. The Kingdom is a fantastic feast of very rich food. Whatever “sheets” that cloud our lives are removed in this Kingdom. Rejoice in this God Who saves us and Who makes us glad – a God of fabulous salvation. This is a fabulous picture of this Kingdom and it really is a beautiful picture of Who God is, Who is so hungry to save us.
For the future, set this reading aside so that when things do not go well for you, you can run to this passage and pray it.
The Responsorial Psalm is the very beautiful and powerful Shepherd Psalm (Psalm 23) – a very tender picture of God again. Like the First Reading (see above), set this aside too for future use when things are not going well for you.
The Second Reading is another very beautiful and powerful picture of our loving God. Note that God will satisfy every need we have. This God of Love is the God Who strengthens all of us so we can do all things through Him/Her and His/Her grace to us. We can imitate this God by sharing the distresses of our neighbours whom we are called to love.
The Gospel Acclamation unsurprisingly reflects our God as a God Who fills us with hope (not bitterness nor sorrow nor anxiety nor confusion…).
Today’s Gospel comes in a longer version and a shorter version: use the fuller long one. Remember that today’s Gospel is a fictional story used to make a very important theme with us. Do not take the Gospel as a literal story. In real life, God does not act this way. (Remember all the preceding biblical readings, verses, and proclamations!)
Thus, the parable is a hard-hitting fictional story that depicts the stupid behavior of ourselves when we reject God’s graces to us. The Gospel shows us clearly the stupidity of sin and does not portray a God Who really gets ticked off at us as we hurt each other! This is very true because no one can fully imagine the ugliness and devastation of sin and sinful choices! So this Gospel reading fits very well with this day’s liturgy/worship and it points exceptionally well to the kind of actions expected from those who truly are disciples of the (Risen) Lord who are called to live out the Risen Life! (See also today’s Prayer Over the Offerings and the two Communion Antiphons of today’s Mass.)
Today’s celebration makes very very clear that to be in the Kingdom/Community of God manifested in Jesus Christ, we need always to act in ways that manifest and declare we are truly brothers and sisters to each other and to the Risen Christ Who is in each and all of us. See Pope Francis’ new encyclical just released too. May we be so! Amen!
Father Fred Scinto, C.R.