Homily – October 11, 2020

Scripture scholars maintain that today’s parable of the wedding feast is a mixture of two parables: the wedding invitation and the lack of the wedding garment. Matthew’s gospel was written for the Jewish Christian community. From 66-70 AD the Romans were busy putting down a Jewish revolt. In 70 A.D. the Romans captured Jerusalem and destroyed it. The Temple was looted and leveled to the ground and there was a slaughter of the citizens. Whoever remembered this parable of Jesus told it in the light of the destruction of Jerusalem and the people’s rejection of Jesus and their persecution of the Christian community.

He saw the punishment of the citizens of the Jerusalem like the punishment meted out to those who ignored the invitation to the banquet celebrating the king’s son’s wedding. This happens different times as the writers of the gospels remember Jesus’ parables and apply them to a situation in the early Christian community.

As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving in a way we’d never dreamed of, today’s parable sets before us the danger of taking life’s blessing for granted and God’s graces for granted.

You’ve heard me talk many times about the importance of an ‘attitude of gratitude.’

We take so many of life’s blessings for granted. We got out of bed this morning, some maybe faster than others. A lot of people can’t. We’re gifted with health, sight, speech, hearing, mobility, we have a roof over our heads, a job, we’re surrounded by those we love and who love us and we have the freedom to come to church and worship God.

My constant memory at this time of year is from a novel I read. It was titled, ‘A Complicated Kindness’, by Mirian Teows. It’s the story of a young girl growing up in the prairies. She belonged to a strict, joyless old German Mennonite church. Her family life was totally dysfunctional, her mother and her older sister just took off to escape the oppression under which they lived. This young woman made her escape through drugs and booze, and sleeping around. In telling her of her crazy mixed up, dysfunctional life she made an interesting statement. She said, ‘my life has been an embarrassment of blessings.’ I had to read those words a couple of times to see if I was reading correctly. My life has been an embarrassment of blessings.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving, with all its restrictions ,maybe we can remember that it is good to give God thanks and praise for the embarrassment of our blessing which we’ve been blessed.