Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost
The central theme of the Gospel Holy Mother Church gives us to read on this Sunday is the necessity of the state of grace for salvation. It is not enough to have the faith, one must live in accordance with it. And since communion with the Church on earth is in the image of the communion that reigns in Heaven, and since the sacred banquet of the Holy Eucharist prefigures the eternal banquet of Heaven, it is necessary that whoever approaches the Holy Eucharist be clothed with the wedding garment, that is to say, be in a state of grace. It is also required that there be no public lesion of ecclesiastical unity through a public state of sin, even if, in certain cases, it is possible that one might appear to be a public sinner, but actually have recovered God’s grace.
In other words, the banquet of the Eucharist is not all-inclusive. Excluded from it are all those who do not fully share the faith of the Church or who are not living in accordance with God’s law. To welcome everyone who wants to approach would be to undermine the very meaning of the Holy Eucharist as sacrament of unity in faith and in charity.
This is stressed by the end of the parable in which Our Blessed Lord states: Many are called, but few are chosen. Yes, many, that is to say the multitude of human beings, all are called to welcome Christ and enter His Church. But in reality, few do so. Few souls, comparatively, accept the conditions of divine friendship, no doubt because few actually come to understand what is on offer.
Today’s Gospel is a wakeup call for all those in the Church who seek to transform the Church’s faith and practice in such a way that, in the end, it is the individual who decides, in his own conscience, whether or not he is worthy to approach.
Nothing could be more contrary to the perennial teaching of the Church. For sure, as St Paul says, one must “prove oneself”, that is to say, examine one’s conscience. But to examine one’s conscience is to examine it with regard to an objective order of things, an objective moral law.
You can no more make up your own moral rules than you can make up your own laws of nature. Poison kills, even if you think it won’t. If you jump out of a building, thinking that you can fly, you will crash to the ground, and you will die.
But if you accept your limits and acknowledge that you are part of a world that you did not make and that you must respect, then you can go a long way, and the Son of God is there to free you from your sins. But He cannot do that if you are not resolved to leave sin behind.
These are the simplest truths that are on every page of the New Testament, but which many in the Church seem to have forgotten. May Our Lady of the Rosary enlighten the darkness of our minds.