In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
How often have we heard today’s parable about those people who were called to
the Bridal Feast of the King, and who refused to come: the one who had acquired
a plot of land; he thought he was in possession of it; in reality, he was so
attached to it that he could not detach himself from it: he was a prisoner of
what he thought he possessed.
And so it is with whatever we imagine we possess; it is enough for us to have
the smallest thing in our hand - and this hand is alienated to us; we cannot use
it anymore, we cannot use our arm, our whole body is conditioned by what we
possess, or imagine we possess: we are held a prisoner by it.
Others refused to come because they had bought five pairs of oxen: they had to
try them, they had a task to fulfill, they had work to do, they had perhaps what
they believed to be a mission in life, and therefore they had no time for
anything except that that was their personal concern.
And the last refused to come because his heart was full of his own joy: having
married, how could he be concerned with anyone else’s marriage? He was full of
his own joy - how could he participate in anyone else's joy? And so, they all
turned away from the call.
Doesn't it apply very directly to us? Each of us possesses something that he
deems so important that he is prepared to turn away from God - yes, from God:
there is no time for prayer, there is no time for worship; to turn away from
other people who need him because he is busy with his own business?
And how often happened that we are full of joy or of sorrow - but they are our
own, we hug them to our heart, we have no time for anyone else's sorrow or
anyone else’s joy.
But then, what should we do? We hear every Sunday in the Liturgy words that say,
‘Let us lay aside all the cares of this life’; does it mean that we must turn
away from the earth on which we live, from the tasks which are ours, from the
joys and true sorrows that come our way? No!
But there is an answer to it perhaps in the lines that precede the reading from
the Epistle which we heard today, where we are told: Are you risen with Christ?
Are you where He is? Is your life hid in God with Christ?.. What does it really
mean to us? It means that if we are dead with the death of Christ to everything
which is destructive of love, destructive of compassion, which is
self-centredness, which is self-love, which leaves no space for anyone but
ourselves - if we are dead to all this, and if we have accepted life on Christ's
terms, ready to live for others, live for God, live for the joy and life of
those who surround us - then we are risen with Christ, and our life is indeed
hid with Christ in God, it is at the very depth of God, at the very depth of
divine love! And then we can turn to the earth; then, instead of possessing we
can serve, instead of overpowering we can try to bring this earth of ours, in an
act of love, in an act of reverence to be free, to be God's earth, to be able to
bring fruit, not as it does being raped, being violently possessed by us, but
giving us its fruit in an act of responsive love. And the same applies to our
tasks; we are called to serve, we are called to make of all our life an act of
concern, of love, of service - then, all that we do becomes an act of God, then
it becomes meaningful and it does not separate us from God.
And if joy has come into our heart, it is a gift of God; if sorrow has come into
our heart, we can carry it t o God, for it to be integrated in the mystery of
Let us reflect on this! Let us truly lay aside all the cares of this life in the
sense that let us not be prisoners, but free: Christ has come to set us free.
And then the earth, and our labour, and our joys, and our sorrows and everyone
on earth will become part of the Kingdom of God. Then indeed, our life will be
hid with Christ in God, but a God Who have chosen so to love the world to be
incarnate, to become man among men, to take upon Himself all the human destiny,
createdness, life in a fallen world, the consequences of human sin, and even the
loss of God which is what kills. And, having accepted it all in an act of saving
and redempting love, He has risen, and anyone can enter into eternal life, the
life of the resurrection by uniting himself or herself to Christ. Amen.