December 16, 2018
Second Sunday before Christmas
Luke 14:16-24 – [Jesus] said to him, "A man once gave a great banquet, and invited many; and at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, `Come; for all is now ready.' But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, `I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it; I pray you, have me excused.' And another said, `I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them; I pray you, have me excused.' And another said, `I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.' So the servant came and reported this to his master. Then the householder in anger said to his servant, `Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and maimed and blind and lame.' And the servant said, `Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.' And the master said to the servant, `Go out to the highways and hedges, and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.'" (RSV)
Come, Lord Jesus, Come! - What is the nature of the invitation? “Come, for look, all things are ready.” God the Father has prepared in Christ gifts for the inhabitants of the earth. Through Christ, he bestowed the forgiveness of sins, cleansing away of all defilement, communion of the Holy Spirit, glorious adoption as children, and the kingdom of heaven. To these blessings, Christ invited Israel, before all others, by the commandments of the Gospel. He has even said by the voice of the psalmist: “But I have been sent as a king by him,” that is, by God the Father, “on Zion his holy mountain to preach the commandment of the Lord.” (Psalm 2:6) (St. Cyril of Alexandria)
As we prepare for the Christmas and Theophany holy days let us not loose sight of the fact that we have been invited to a Great Feast. Let’s not let the presents, trimming and other preparations blind us to the coming of the Savior. Come, Lord Jesus, come!
- Matins - John 20:11-18 (Gospel 8)
- John 20:1-10 (Gospel 7)
The icon is a detail of an icon of the Holy Forefathers and Patriarchs, who foretold the coming of the Messiah.