Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Homily)
October 11, 2020 11:30 am · Father Sergio Muñoz Fita
As I did last weekend, I would like to share with you two considerations based on the readings for this XXVIII Sunday in Ordinary Time.
The first idea has to do with the character at the end of the parable that the Lord tells us today. That guest, who was not dressed appropriately for the wedding, probably thought that his clothing was adequate for the celebration, otherwise, he would not have dared to enter the feast. But in the eyes of the king that man deserved reproach: “'My friend, how is it that you came in here without a wedding garment?' (…) cast him into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’”
It is part of the teaching of the Word of God - written and handed on by
the Tradition of the Church – what Saint John Paul II called "intrinsic evils" and Pope Benedict XVI "non-negotiable principles". In the moral life, it is not enough just to have good intentions. In fact, the phrase "the road to hell is paved with good intentions" is attributed to Saint Teresa of Jesus, whose feast we will celebrate next Thursday. We presume the good intentions of the guest in the parable, but God is not satisfied, and expects more from us: he expects good decisions and not just good intentions.
Allow me an example. In the context of the coming elections, it is not enough to say, “I support this political choice or this party because I believe that it is what is best for my country.” Today's Gospel teaches us that this is not enough. That is having good intentions, and we presuppose good intentions from everyone. The question is: does the option I intend to support defend any of these "intrinsic evils"? Does it attack or violate these "non-negotiable principles"? If the answer is yes, a disciple of Christ cannot support them, regardless of whether there may be other positive aspects in the electoral platform of that candidate, in the same way, that one would not consume a drink into which they had spilled a little poison, even if told that most of the liquid in the cup was safe to drink.
You may wonder what some of these non-negotiable principles are, the poison that a Christian cannot drink. For the answer, I refer to “Question 18” in Bishop Olmsted's booklet, Catholics in the Public Square, which we are sending to our parishioners via the Internet. I ask that you read it with an open heart and a desire to obey God:
I want to conclude with a second idea which is about heaven. Both the first reading, the psalm, and the Gospel tell us about paradise, likening it to a wonderful feast that God prepares for us. There the Lord himself will “wipe away the tears from every face…”
The Lord invites us all to that feast and I beg you not to lose your way so that we can all be there together. I encourage you to think more about heaven. It is said that Saint Ignatius of Loyola spent hours on the terrace of his house in Rome staring at the stars, and with tears streaming down his cheeks, he repeated: “Oh, how poor the earth seems to me when I look up to heaven!”
I have the impression that we do not think enough about Paradise. God has revealed to us the "intrinsic evils" of which we spoke before so that by avoiding them we may be happy and achieve the supreme and eternal bliss with Him. Furthermore, he is not satisfied with just teaching us the path of good, but rather, as we have heard in the opening prayer of Holy Mass, with his grace at all times he goes before us and follows after. As the psalm tells us, he walks with us as the Good Shepherd and leads us to verdant pastures and abundant waters, where our souls find rest. He has loved us so much that he himself has become our way so that we do not get lost and He has made the Eucharist our food, so that - as Saint Paul tells us - we can do all things in him who strengthens us.
Dear brothers and sisters, may God give us a very great hope for heaven so that we can fight and conquer sin, spend our lives for the salvation of souls, work tirelessly for our Lord Jesus, and “pass over”, as we will say later in the Prayer over the Offerings of this Holy Mass, from the trials of this life “to the glory of heaven.”