Daily Scripture Analysis

Reading 1: (Isa 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.

Reading 2: (Phi 4:12-14, 19-20)

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.

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."


I. THEME: Keep a healthy balance in our life.

            The material needs, especially eating and drinking, are basic needs of human life. In order to satisfy them, some spent most of his time to work, to shop, to cook, and to enjoy. However, these are not the only needs of human life; beside these, we also have other needs, such as love, knowledge, and especially the relationship with God.

            Today readings centered on the material needs, but with many different lessons. In the first reading, the prophet Isaiah drew human mind to the heavenly banquet. Only this banquet can completely satisfy all human desires. In the second reading, St. Paul taught us how to master our life, in prosperity as in poverty, in having fully as in hungry. The important point is to rely on God at all times; only Him can satisfy all of our needs. In the Gospel, Jesus wanted to warn people that if we are so busy with material need, we can forget about or even deny God’s invitation to the heavenly banquet.

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: The heavenly banquet

            The prophet Isaiah was permitted by God to forsee future sufferings of the Israelites during their exiles in Assyria and Babylon. They will be suffered of hungry, death, and God’s abandonment. Isaiah also forsaw the day God will restore and permit them to return. That is the day they will be joyfully attended the heavenly banquet. Like the Israelites’ exiles, human life is considered as an exile away from God, people have been tried to find all things in this world which could satisfy them; but they will not find in anywhere except at the heavenly banquet. There are some basic needs which Isaiah recorded in the first reading.

           (1) Two basic needs of eating and drinking: People tried their best and spent lots of time for these two needs, but they will not be fully satisfied until the day: “The LORD of hosts will provide for all peoples a feast of rich food and choice wines, juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines.”

            (2) People can achieve all their desires in life: beautiful wife, smart children, richness, fame, and power; but when facing their death, they cannot lengthen their life, even a short time. The death is the greatest suffering because it takes away all what one had laboriously built up. But if people believe in God, they hope that they will overcome the death on that day because, “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.”

            (3) People desire happiness but life is a sea full of sufferings, such as: many kinds of diseases, hatredness, war, and natural catastrophes. People can find true happiness on that day, the day in which, “the Lord God will wipe away the tears from every face; the reproach of his people he will remove from the whole earth.”

            (4) There is no greater suffering than the one of not knowing who had created us. Moreover, people have heard so many of good things God has done, and wonderful promises God has said, as St. Augustine revealed in his book, The Confessions, “God has created me for Him, and my soul cannot be at rest until I rest in Him.” This deepest desire of human being will be satisfied on that day which people will say to another, “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!”

            Only when all human hope are completely satisfied, “the hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain.”

2/ Reading II: To believe in God is much better than in human beings.

2.1/ One must be trained to become a sterling person: There are some who were so familiar with a prosperous life, felt miserable when they live in poverty. In opposition, there are some who were lived in poverty, did not know how to react properly when they become rich; for examples, to win a jackpot or to inherit a will. These people can squander all of their money and their lives can be more miserable than before. The sterling man is the one who knows how to manager his life in all situations, as St. Paul said, “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.”

2.2/ God will satisfy fully all your needs: The most suffering of all is not to believe in God. To such people, they have to laboriously work to take care of themselves. St. Paul reminded these people: “My God will fully supply whatever you need, in accord with his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Moreover, there are something which human being cannot take care of themselves, such as the strength to endure suffering, the death, and the salvation. A strong faith in God’s love, power, and providence will help one to live in peace, joy, and happiness.

3/ Gospel: “Many are invited, but few are chosen."

3.1/ The inviting guests of the heavenly banquet: Like the Isaiah’s heavenly banquet in the first reading, Jesus also compared the kindom of heaven with the story of a king who organized a wedding feast for his son. This king is liken as God the Father; his son as Jesus Christ; the inviting guests are the Jews who are selected first as God’s people; the king’s servants are all prophets, apostles and disciples. Although the king has power to command or to force everyone to come; but he patiently sent his servants to invite his guests at least twice, but they refused to come.

3.2/ Guests’ reactions: The Gospel gave us two main reactions of guests.

            (1) Some went to their fields, some to their stores: These reactions are the most common excuse. People are so busy with their work and business that they had no time for God and denied His invitation to the heavenly banquet.

            (2) Some seized the king’s servants, mocked and killed them: Their reactions are hard to understand. If they did not want to attend, they can say no to servants; why did they seize them to mock and to kill? These can be understood if we observed what have happened around us. Many leaders of nations are called to govern their people in justice and charity, they governed them unjustly with forces, threat of killing or prison. They were invited to look up into heaven to think about the ultimate goal of life, they refused to look up and kept looking to material gains of this world. If they were witnessed the faith of many people who were ready to die and to accept sufferings for values of the Good News, they were still deafened and so inconsiderate, we can understand the king’s angry and his reaction to destroy all their cities.

3.3/ The king’s reactions: Hearing all the guests’ reactions to his servants, the king became extremely angry and did three main things.

            (1) First, he sent his soldiers to kill them and to destroy their cities. The complety destroy of the Jerusalem city on 70 AD by the Roman armies might be what Jesus implied here.

            (2) Next, the king said to his servant: “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.”

            Many commentators saw here the reason that the Good News is no longer kept in the Israelites’ circle. Since they denied to welcome Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Good News is announced to all people, nations, to every class of societies: good or bad.

             (3) To attend without proper wedding garment: When the king came and saw one man who did not have his wedding garment, he said to him, “My friend, how is it that you came in here without a wedding garment?” But he did not answer. 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 surprised with the king’s hard-to-understand reaction, because he probably did not have enough time to change. This reason is not valid because many others who were in the same situation had enough time to change. Moreover, it is not all people who were invited, will be selected as Jesus’ conclusion, “Many are invited, but few are chosen.” To attend the heavenly banquet, people must meet God’s requirements.

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                     

            - Nothing in the world can completely satisfy all human desires. Only the heavenly banquet can satisfy them.

            - We need to eat and drink to preserve life; but should not be so dependent on them so that we forget about other needs. We should imitate St. Paul to have a full control of our life, and in all situations, we must depend on God, who is the only One can completely satisfy all of our needs.

            - We must be cautious when we have to work in order to satisfy our basic need so that we should never forget God’s inviting us to attend the heavenly banquet. God has indeed invited all, but we have freedom to respond, as He warned us: “Many are invited, but few are chosen.” Save