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Nineteenth Sunday After Pentecost 2017

The Banquet is Ready

One night a Chinese gentleman received a dream to answer a question that he had been pondering for some time now. What is heaven really like and what is hell? After his dream he knew what he must do; he must tell others. As he dreamed an angel lead him into a large banquet room decorated and filled withthe most appealing foods. There were meats, salads, fruit, greens, deserts and fine wines. The mouth watered as the eyes and the nose took in the scene and its delightful smells. But something was wrong. Everyone there was unhappy.There was griping and complaining. What was the problem? The people in thisbanquet had received three foot long chop sticks to eat with and they could get not one morsel of this delicious food into their mouths.

Then the angel beckoned the man to another banquet scene exactly like the one left behind but in this room the people were joyous, rejoicing and praising God and His Wisdom. They also had three foot long chop sticks but they used them to feed their neighbors. Do you understand? We either possess the wedding garment or we do not. If we possess it, then we are in the state of grace and friends with the king. If not, we are cast out for the King cannot recognize Himself in us.

Now the issue is becoming clear in our society over the issue of life itself. Either life has the right to exist or we are all doomed to the fire coming from heaven and destroying what man has created in futility. The King has sent His messengers (the prophets, the apostles, His only Son). One by one the chosen people rejected the banquet invitation for the things of this world whether it be possessions, power or pleasure. These Jews have broken every commandment and proved themselves unworthy of the banquet of eternal life. They have no likeness to Christ and so must be cast out with all those who refuse to accept the forgiveness offered by the Blood of the Lamb.

Since the world at large has turned from the invitation to salvation, then a punishment must be given which is proportioned to the offense given. Since the offense is the rejection of the King then it is proper that those souls lose the presence of Love in eternity. The pain of loss is like the banquet with the three foot long chop sticks; the soul now yearns for the source of its life which is God and cannot taste His sweetness.The soul burns within due to the loss of all Love. Not only does the soul experience this pain but also the pain of the senses which caused the decision to reject God. For the lustful there is the worm that eternally penetrates and consumes the flesh moment after moment forever.

Forever is a serious word and we need to take seriously the invitation we have received for just as heaven is a place where the love of God and neighbor are manifested so beautifully. So, too, hell is a decision made in this world not to pay our praise and respect to the One Who loved us into being and longs for our salvation. Our Lady has tried so many times to bring her children back to God through prayer and penance.It will not surprise me if some miracle of the Son reveals the conscience of every soul with the hope of waking up the complacent, the comfortable and the lovers of the flesh.

Dear Mother hear our plea and open the minds and hearts of all those that read these words to meditate upon the Wedding Banquet of the Lamb. May those souls choose to suffer for Christ in this world to gain the wedding garment that opens the way to eternal life. Pray the rosary more than once a day if you can. Keep in union with our blessed Mother and with our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. The battle of faith is upon us and we must humbly admit that we are weak but in Christ we are strong. With Him we can do all things and without Him we can do nothing. God bless you all with the power of His Grace.

In the hearts of Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

Fr. Voigt, S.D.B

P.S. My infection has been arrested and now all is progressing well. I have a new heart guaranteed to serve the Lord for another hundred thousand miles. Thank you for your prayers and support.

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