28th Sunday – Year A



The Parable of a Wedding Banquet by Bishop Barron

  • One of the strangest and shocking parables in the Gospels today. Brutality and violence in the story are hard to take.
  • We wonder about the sanity of this king. The biblical god is a tyrant, says the new atheists.
  • ** Flannery O’Connor defended her very violent stories – “in the land of the deaf, you have to shout!” = in a very secular society you have to shake them, shock them.
  • This story is meant to stir us up with its exaggeration.
  • 1st exaggeration is what we could probably miss & is the most important – the king is giving a wedding banquet for his son – Jesus – whose purpose is to unite the human race to God – This is the most prestigious event possible – like the president inviting you to a formal dinner at the white house for the wedding of his son. leading figures in society will be there. what would you do if you got that invitation? you’d go!! this would trump anything, you’d clear your calendar. could you imagine telling the president, “oh i’d love to go but i have a bridge game that night…”
  • you are receiving the best invitation from the best highest person to the best thing imaginable!!!
  • purpose = how weird it is that we consistently refuse this invitation. we don’t realize how great it is.
  • read God’s anger as a metaphor for God’s desire to set things right. show the vital importance… to also clothe oneself in grace.
  • grace = essential – it comes 1st.
  • Jesus wants to wake us up!


Brant Pitre

  • Weird unexpected twists to the familiar story: (1) Why don’t the people accept the invitation to the wedding? (2) Notice that some of the reactions to the invitation are that they seize the servants, treat them shamefully, and kill them. Now that’s an unexpected response to a wedding invitation. If somebody came to your house with a wedding invitation, you would not be inclined to take them aside and beat them, or much less to kill them. Same thing happens with the king’s reaction. Burn down their houses. Invite everyone. Then cast out a man into outer darkness. Wow.
  • Why? for this reason –> This is no ordinary king, this is no ordinary wedding feast, and these are no ordinary invitations that are being sent out.
  • King = God. Son = Jesus.
  • The imagery of the wedding feast – because here Jesus is alluding to a Jewish tradition that saw the coming of God’s age of salvation in terms of a wedding banquet. This Jewish tradition is called the expectation of the messianic banquet — that is how scholars will refer to it — the messianic banquet, the banquet of the Messiah, the banquet of the kingdom of God. And this expectation of a future banquet of the Messiah was actually rooted in the Old Testament itself, was rooted in the prophecies of the Jewish Scriptures, and in particular, in one prophecy from the book of Isaiah, which just so happens to be the first reading for today.

  • Universal feast “for all peoples” + sacrificial banquet (Lev 3:16 – “the fat belongs to the Lord” – bumper sticker haha) + supernatural event (death swallowed up) –> And that’s why it’s so shocking and so important that when God invites people to come to the messianic banquet, that when they refuse God, that when they reject the invitation, it is a matter, literally, of eternal life and death. This is no simple invitation to an ordinary wedding feast, it’s an invitation to God’s kingdom. It is an invitation to God’s banquet. It’s an invitation to the banquet of the Messiah.
  • Responsorial psalm 23 – sacrifical banquet imagery for bridging the readings.
  • Purpose = (1) Jesus is the bridegroom. We are the Church. Kingdom of God = eternal wedding reception. Jesus is saying that heaven will be like being at that reception for all eternity. The joy, the happiness, the celebration, it is an eternal celebration; not of the love of a man for a woman, but of the love of God, in Christ, for his people, for his bride, the Church. (2) Deeds are needed. Jesus’ own teaching in the Gospel is very clear, that not only do we have to have faith, we also have to have works, especially works of charity, works of righteousness.


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