There’s a warning in scripture today. Though we’re God’s people through baptism, yet we may not be chosen. We must keep the white garment we received at baptism on, the garment of faith, holiness and good works, if were to enter the final banquet of heaven. Lets confess ways we fail in living out our baptismal calling..
“Many are called but few are chosen”. The phrase sticks in the mind; when young we said “many are cold but few are frozen”. Whether our souls are warm or cold when we meet God at death is crucial. We were clothed at baptism in the white garment of faith and virtue and promised to keep it unstained unto eternal life. The man in the Gospel presumed he could enter the final feast of heaven without such a garment on. Lets not make the same mistake?
For the feast were invited to is the eternal one of heaven. At one time only the People of Israel were called to that glory. But Christ invited all, without prejudice, to the feast prepared by his father in heaven. Indeed the blind, the lame, the poor and the sinful are special invitees. He warns all of us, like he did the professional Jewish religious, that “thieves and prostitutes will make their way into the king of heaven before you”. That warning is apt for today. Though specially called, even church people, as recent abuse scandals show, may fail to keep the wedding garment on. Like the pharisees, we all can be corrupted.
We the chosen baptized of today can lose our garment of faith and virtue. We’re his privileged people with untold sacramental aids to salvation. We even receive his body as spiritual nourishment. Every blessing is showered on us as his grace-filled people. But we must beware complacency lest others go into the heavenly banquet before us. For all people in the world are God’s children. All receive some means to salvation, especially those who through no fault of their own do not know or acknowledge Christ. We’ve the immense extra privilege of being part of his holy church. But we must live up to that great gift and do our best to bring its untold blessings to others. Like the Jews we mustn’t think that because were the chosen people we’ll automatically be saved. We’re given much, much will be required of us. We must keep the white garment of faith, virtue and truth on all life long so that our souls will flower at last into eternal life. The baptismal prayer puts that very beautifully: “may we keep the flame of faith alive in our hearts so that when the lord comes we’ll go out to meet him with all the saints”. And he’ll say to us; “well done good and faithful servants inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world”.
But if we fail to keep that white garment on we too risk being cast out into the darkness where there is weeping and knashing of teeth. We cannot presume on our salvation or abuse the goodness of God by lives unworthy of our Christian calling. Above all we mustn’t put worldly greed, power and pleasure before service of God and others as many do today. That’s what the wealthy hard-hearted Pharisees did. Unlike them we are asked to be true, kind, faithful people of God. We may not be saints, though that’s what we’re called to be. But we must bear some fruits of goodness. We may never be perfect but we must keep striving to be so, so that we’ll come before him at death with our baptismal garment as intact as possible, so that Christ will lead us into the eternal banquet. For the values of which Satan is lord fade to dust at last, but Christ is lord of life here and forever and ever amen.
So as God’s faithful keeping the white garment we received at baptism unstained, and always ready to enter the eternal feast, we make our profession of faith..
Prayers of the Faithful
For our holy father the Pope and the others leaders of the church that the white garments they wear may be a sign of their inner grace, integrity and love and they may be lights to our world.
For civil leaders that they may lead the citizens of our country in integrity, fairness and dedication and be especially concerned to help the poor and most vulnerable in society..
For wonderful our youth that they may not become so caught up in the affairs and corruption of the world so as to neglect the salvation of their immortal souls..
For ourselves in our homes, work places and communities that we may keep the fire of faith alive in our hearts, so that the white garment still on, we may come at last to the banquet of life..
For the sick, the old, the lonely and the poor that through our generosity, love and care they may know the love of Christ..
For the dead that the garment of faith on at death, they may come to their heavenly home with the help of our prayers and masses..
and we ask all these prayers through Christ our Lord who is the only lord of life, happiness and goodness forever and ever amen
You may know the story in the Bible of Joseph and the amazing colored coat. He was the youngest son of 12 and it was given to him by his father because he loved him best. But the others in envy took it from him and sold him into slavery, telling the father than a wild beat had eaten him. Joseph, however, was taken to Egypt and became and great man there and later saved his brothers during a famine. All of us are given the many-colored coat of faith at baptism by God. Lets wear it until we return with many fruits of goodness into the home of our loving heavenly Father and Mother. And lets ask that holy mother to keep us in this ..Hail Mary