Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)
October 15, 2023
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.









May your grace, O Lord, we pray,
at all times go before us and follow after
and make us always determined
to carry out good works.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.

First Reading Is 25:6-10a

On this mountain the LORD of hosts will provide for all peoples a feast of rich food and choice wines, juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines. On this mountain he will destroy the veil that veils all peoples, the web that is woven over all nations; he will destroy death forever. The Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from every face; the reproach of his people he will remove from the whole earth; for the LORD has spoken. On that day it will be said: "Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us! This is the LORD for whom we looked; let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!" For the hand of the LORD will rest on this mountain.

Responsorial Psalm

R/. I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.


The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul. R/.

He guides me in right paths
for his name's sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
with your rod and your staff
that give me courage. R/.

You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows. R/.

Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come. R/.

Second Reading Phil 4:12-14,19-20 2 

Brothers and sisters: I know how to live in humble circumstances; I know also how to live with abundance. In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of living in abundance and of being in need.  I can do all things in him who strengthens me.  Still, it was kind of you to share in my distress. My God will fully supply whatever you need, in accord with his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father, glory forever and ever. Amen.

Alleluia Cf. Eph 1:17-18 


Gospel Mt 22:1-14 

Jesus again in reply spoke to the chief priests and elders of the people in parables, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast, but they refused to come. A second time he sent other servants, saying, 'Tell those invited: "Behold, I have prepared my banquet, my calves and fattened cattle are killed, and everything is ready; come to the feast."' Some ignored the invitation and went away, one to his farm, another to his business.  The rest laid hold of his servants, mistreated them, and killed them.  The king was enraged and sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city.  Then he said to his servants, 'The feast is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy to come.  Go out, therefore, into the main roads and invite to the feast whomever you find.' The servants went out into the streets and gathered all they found, bad and good alike, and the hall was filled with guests."But when the king came in to meet the guests, he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment.  The king said to him, 'My friend, how is it that you came in here without a wedding garment?' But he was reduced to silence. Then the king said to his attendants, 'Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’ Many are invited, but few are chosen."

Catena Nova

Whatever can this wedding garment be, then? For an answer we must go to the Apostle, who says: “The aim of this instruction is love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.” (1 Tim 1:5) There is your wedding garment. It is not love of just any kind. Many people of bad conscience appear to love one another, but you will not find in them “the love that springs from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and a genuine faith.” Only that kind of love is the wedding garment. (St. Augustine).

What then are we to understand by the wedding garment, if not charity? For whoever in the Church possesses faith, but has not charity, comes in to the wedding, but does not come in with a wedding garment. Rightly is charity called a wedding garment; for our Creator wore this upon Him when He came to the marriage of Himself with the Church. It was solely through the charity of God that His Only-Begotten joined to Himself the souls of the chosen among men. It was because of this that John says: For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten son for us (Jn. 3:16). He therefore Who came to us because of charity, has made known to us that charity is the wedding garment. And each one of you who through believing is now within the Church, has already come to the wedding. But they come without a wedding garment who do not safeguard within them the grace of charity.  (Pope St. Gregory the Great).
Open the eye of thy intellect, and gaze into Me, and thou shalt see the beauty of My rational creature. And look at those creatures who, among the beauties which I have given to the soul, creating her in My image and similitude, are clothed with the nuptial garment (that is the garment of love), adorned with many virtues, by which they are united with Me through love. And yet I tell thee, if thou shouldest ask Me, who these are, I should reply" (said the sweet and amorous Word of God) " they are another Myself, inasmuch as they have lost and denied their own will, and are clothed with Mine, are united to Mine, are conformed to Mine." It is therefore true, indeed, that the soul unites herself with God by the affection of love (St. Catherine of Siena).

O Jesus, Sun of Justice, come, let me clothe myself in Thee, (cf. Rom. 13:14) that I may live as Thou wouldst have me live. Let me so follow Thee that I may keep the garment of my baptismal innocence white, holy, and unspotted, and bring it unimpaired before Thy judgment seat, to keep it unto eternal life. Amen. Come, O Love, let Thy perfect love for me be my end and my perfection. When evening falleth, show me the covenant of spiritual marriage which my heart now entereth upon with Thee. In the countenance of my God, whom I love surpassingly, Thou art the Light of the evening star. O my beloved and glorious Evening, graciously appear unto me at the hour of my death, that I may have in Thee the long-desired evening of my sojourn upon earth, and gently fall asleep and take my repose in the blessed haven of Thy breast. O Love, O God, Thou who art my deliverance, graciously infold my soul within Thee; then, arrayed in Thee and in Thy regal beauty, I shall appear worthily in the presence of my eternal Bridegroom, clad in my wedding garment and bearing my bridal dowry (St. Gertrude of Helfta).

It is the peace-loving and meek King, Christ Jesus, who brings us into that banquet hall to accomplish in us wonderful and surprising things. He assumes the title of king to signify the magnificence of his gifts, the extent of his infinite power and, at the same time, wishes to show us his most tender love by which he leads us into this asylum of peace. He will make us rich in merit and virtue, it we only respond to his graces.  He uses the image of a banquet hall to remind us of the conduct that we should observe so that we might receive and cherish his heavenly favors by means of a most intimate recollection in prayer. So, ultimately, let us be guided in our approach in order that in his banquet hall the most loving Lord may serve us with substantial food and drink. His nourishment will renew our hearts and fortify our souls unto salutary works for life eternal....Since the King of Glory has brought us into this banquet hall, let us establish here our own peaceful abode in time. Also, let us reenforce the foundations of the holy city of God with the bonds of charity. Let us remember that the nuptial bed of the peace-loving King is the Cross, and, that our souls upon this nuptial bed yearn for the most tender embraces of affection toward Jesus. He has redeemed us through love, has shed all his Blood in love, and through him we have a mystical dwelling in his heart (St. Gaspar del Bufalo).


Let us remember that this business of not ‘wearing a wedding garment’ cannot be read as a reference to someone’s moral behavior, for Matthew has emphasized that all were called in, good and bad alike. Besides, it is known that the custom of that age and place was to provide tunics to place over one’s street clothes so as to participate in a wedding party, and which would have been at the disposal of all the guests on their way in, without the slightest consideration for how good or bad they were. Here there is something of what we had in the previous parable [of the wicked tenants]. The problem with the silent guest is that he does not imagine himself to be at a wedding banquet, but in a place of judgement, and for this reason does not dare to speak when he is addressed, and so receives treatment according to his imagination (James Alison).

When the hall is full, the king arrives and greets the latest guests, but he sees one of them without a wedding garment, that kind of little cape that each guest would receive as a gift at the entrance. The people went as they were dressed, as they were able to be dressed; they were not wearing gala attire. But at the entrance they were give a type of capelet, a gift. That man, having rejected the free gift, excluded himself: the king could do nothing but throw him out. This man accepted the invitation but then decided that it meant nothing to him: he was a self-sufficient person; he had no desire to change or to allow the Lord to change him. The wedding garment – this capelet - symbolizes the mercy that God freely gives us, namely, grace. Without grace we cannot take a step forward in Christian life. Everything is grace. It is not enough to accept the invitation to follow the Lord; one must be open to a journey of conversion, which changes the heart. The garment of mercy, which God offers us unceasingly, is the free gift of his love; it is precisely grace. And it demands to be welcomed with astonishment and joy: “Thank you, Lord, for having given me this gift”. (Pope Francis)


        There was a kerfuffle in the Senate a few weeks ago if you imagine that.  A senator from Pennsylvania was dressing way too casually and since there wasn't an official dress code in place there wasn't much anyone could do about it — except make political points.  Well, decorum won out and a bipartisan — unanimous even — resolution passed making business attire the rule now for senators.  (I am awaiting something similar in the House since a prominent congressman from Ohio — once a contender for Speaker — is also known for dressing down.)
Now I realize clothing can be an outer expression of an inner disposition.  Or at least a signal for what one thinks and values in a given situation — whether it's worth it to dress for the occasion or not.  I also realize "the habit does not make the monk" — or the chasuble the priest — for that matter!  Still, we should be careful about our fashion statements, lest they reveal more than we think they do.
And that's no truer than with our attire for the kingdom of heaven, whether what we've donned is fitting or not, symbolized by the wedding garment in today's parable.  So have we have to ask what got that poor guy bound hand and foot and cast into the darkness outside (G).  What was he missing?  There've been lots of guesses. Some have suggested your ticket into the banquet hall must be baptism, others faith, others charity.  St. Augustine, referencing Paul, claimed it's “the love that springs from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and a genuine faith.”  No doubt, all important items of clothing for a complete ensemble. But rather than dwell on that one symbol, what if we focused on the occasion instead — a wedding?  And what behaviors are totally out of place at such an event and what those that are called for instead might be?  Starting with the first.
I know many a wedding reception has been ruined by boorish guests who've had too much to drink, who didn't want to be there in the first place, who didn't like the other people seated at  their table, who couldn't stand the endless clinking of glasses for yet another kiss, who found the toasts long and inappropriate, who felt they chose the wrong entree, who hate those silly dances people try and force you to join or maybe they harbored doubts the couple would make it to their first anniversary and resent having to buy a gift for such an unpromising pair.  And let's face it, we've all been there.
But then there are people who know exactly what's called for on such an occasion.  Who were glad to get the invitation, were truly happy for the couple, were enjoying themselves in the company of friends and family, loving the food, looking forward to all the little rituals that are part of the festivities, and even happy to dress up.  Those are the things that make for good wedding guests and a joyous banquet.
 In fact, the Bible loves a wedding feast like that since it can serve as an image of what God envisions for the human race. When the LORD of hosts
   will provide for all peoples
a feast of rich food and choice wines,
   juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines.
[when] he will destroy
   the veil that veils all peoples,
the web that is woven over all nations;
   [when] he will destroy death forever.
[When] the Lord GOD will wipe away
   the tears from every face. (cf. I )
No wonder parts of the New Testament that are big on symbols tell us Jesus began his public ministry at a wedding feast — even if the guests overdid it on the wine!  And describes the end of history as "the wedding of the Lamb" when his Bride will be ready, clothed with fine linen which — this time we're told —  are the righteous acts of God's holy people. 
Now in case you've missed it, we're at such an event right now. We've responded to an invitation.  We're on the guest list.  The Bridegroom and Bride are here.  Friends and family have also arrived.  I hope you like the people with whom you are seated — a motley crew, for sure —   maybe they made the second cut when others failed to RSVP.   At any rate, the table is set.  The food laid out.  You're glad you checked the right box.  The wedding coordinators are attending to all the details of hospitality.  The music is decent enough.  The words from various speakers inspire.  And the marriage vows still echo — This is my body given up for you.  This is my blood poured out for you.  With their resounding consent — a great Amen!  And even if your "Sunday best" isn't the dress code anymore, hopefully you've been clothed with those good works that go before and follow after you (cf. Collect).  
But remember this is all a foretaste of the Nuptial Banquet to come when those who now behold the Lamb of God under the form of Bread and Wine, will find themselves called at last to the supper of the Lamb in accord with [the] glorious riches in Christ Jesus (II). Who lives and reigns forever and ever.  Amen.


For the Church, that she may adopt listening and dialogue as a style of life at every level, allowing herself to be guided by the Holy Spirit towards the world’s peripheries.
For gratitude: that God will expand our awareness of all the blessings and resources that we have and empower us to use them for God’s glory and the good of others.
For fruitfulness of our faith: that our lives may manifest a wedding garment made of deeds of justice and acts of charity that proclaim the goodness of God to all.
For all who are recovering from natural disasters: that God will give them hope and stir the hearts of many to assist them in their time of need.
For all who have been touched by violence or abuse, praying especially for the victims of war in Israel and Palestine: that God will heal their pain, ease their fear, and fill their hearts with peace.

For peace in our own cities and communities: that God will help us to understand the pain of those who have suffered injustice and give us the courage to work for reconciliation.

For all who are ill: that God will ease their suffering, return them to health, and that they may experience God’s abiding presence with them.

For Wisdom: that God will help us hear and discern the truth during this year's political campaigns, and help us to respect each person as we recognize their strengths and weaknesses.

God of goodness and kindness, you invite all peoples to the banquet and offer them a feast beyond compare. Give us your saving grace to keep unstained the robe of our baptism until that day when you welcome us to heaven’s joyful table.  We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Offertory Hymn


God’s own reign can be envisioned

As a royal wedding feast

Unto which the king invited

Both the greatest and the least.

Those invited spurned his goodness,

So the call was then sent out:

Go into the roads and shout:

“All is ready for the banquet!

Bring within the good and the bad—

There are seats still to be had!”


In the days which soon will be coming,

God will on the mount provide

Lavish food and finest vintage,

Wiping tears from ev’ry eye.

Death itself will be vanquished.

And our God will then erase

All that keeps us from grace;

On the mountain God established

We shall dwell eternally,

There restored, renewed, set free.


In our hardships, we are strengthened

By the love of Jesus still.

God shall, all our needs perceiving,

Richly give in gracious will.

Thus invited to the banquet,

Where the feast shall ever last,

We by God shall be kept fast.

Let us live in light of mercy

That our wedding garment bright

Find full favor in God’s sight.

Communion Antiphon

Closing Hymn (John Michael Talbot)


Let us kiss with the touch of our life

Call me, Lord, to your chambers

For your kiss is an excellent wine

Flowing smoothly, poured out for a lover.

For the bride belongs to the lover

And the bridegroom yearns for his bride

So come to the night, there to empty our life

To be fulfilled with the flowers of dawn.

Let us go to the vineyard, my love

To see if the vines are in bloom

If the vines have opened to blossom new life

So I will open to you

As the flowers send forth their fragrant perfume

So the doors of my love shall be open

For I have stored up my treasure for you

And now I give you my love.