28th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle A
Theme : Christian Stewardship – I serve God for me!
1st Reading: Isaiah 25:6-10
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 23
2nd Reading: Philippians 4:12-14.19-20
Gospel : Matthew 22:1-14
- Simon Sinek tells the story of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I have a dream” speech on 28 August 1963 from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial
- 250 000 people from across the country descended on Washington, DC
- “I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.”
- One of the most iconic speeches of all time ended: “Free at last. Free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.”
- These words touched people deeply – on that summer day more than 50 years ago and continue to do so today!
- That speech impacted the civil rights movement in the USA and across the world!
- That speech changed people’s lives – it changed the world!
- But how many people made the journey to Washington for Dr King?
- They showed up for themselves
- They recognised the invitation to be a part of something greater; something better!
- They came together because they believed what Dr King believed!
- They believed in living the truth that all men and women are created with equal dignity and value!
- The parable in our Gospel today, shows the real tragedy of salvation history!
- God sent his servants to the people he had chosen; however, they rejected the invitation!
- And just as we heard last week – the rejection of the Gospel, the failure to work and grow the vineyard – led to it being taken from those first invited and given to others – to those who did respond!
- The people who did not accept the invitation to the Wedding Banquet could not see why they should attend!
- They missed out on something great, something better – what a tragedy!
- Those first invited, lost themselves in the farm, the business, the pleasures and troubles of life, and
- in the process, they lost God and themselves!
- Is your presence here today a positive response to the invitation you have received or is it just out of habit or fear?
- Why have you come here? Why have you accepted the invitation?
- Not for me, I am quite sure!
- The Gospel story calls us to integrity of life –
- To a harmony between the person we proclaim ourselves to be, and
- The person we are in our day-to-day lives!
- You have come here – you are part of this faith community – because of what you believe!
- You want to put on a new suit/new dress and grow – be transformed into a better version of yourself!
- You want to be part of a church that inspires others to know and love Jesus!
- Christian Stewardship helps us to hear and respond to the invitation!
- Christian Stewardship helps us live with integrity – to put the faith of our lips into action!
- There is a tendency for Catholic Christians to live in a “Holy Huddle”!
- But that is NOT what the Church is for!
- Instead, it is about engaging with the world – and we do that through giving and serving!
- Through our CONNECTING with others, GROWING our faith and SERVING in ministry, the reason for being here becomes clear!
- This third week of our Stewardship Campaign that is focused on SERVING, will reveal to us the many ways we can live our faith with integrity; with generosity!
- The more real we are about our discipleship, the more generously we commit ourselves to it –
- The better we become as people, and
- The better our world, our parish becomes!
- I hope that is what you believe!
- why you have responded to the invitation to be here!
- So put on your best outfit, break out of your huddle and enjoy the party!