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The Wedding Invitation

First Reading: Revelation 18:1-2, 21-23; 19:1-3, 9A

I, John, saw another angel coming down from heaven,
having great authority,
and the earth became illumined by his splendor.
He cried out in a mighty voice:

“Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great.
She has become a haunt for demons.
She is a cage for every unclean spirit,
a cage for every unclean bird,
a cage for every unclean and disgusting beast.”

A mighty angel picked up a stone like a huge millstone
and threw it into the sea and said:

“With such force will Babylon the great city be thrown down,
and will never be found again.
No melodies of harpists and musicians,
flutists and trumpeters,
will ever be heard in you again.
No craftsmen in any trade
will ever be found in you again.
No sound of the millstone
will ever be heard in you again.
No light from a lamp
will ever be seen in you again.
No voices of bride and groom
will ever be heard in you again.
Because your merchants were the great ones of the world,
all nations were led astray by your magic potion.”

After this I heard what sounded like
the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying:

“Alleluia!
Salvation, glory, and might belong to our God,
for true and just are his judgments.
He has condemned the great harlot
who corrupted the earth with her harlotry.
He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”

They said a second time:

“Alleluia! Smoke will rise from her forever and ever.”

Then the angel said to me, “Write this:
Blessed are those who have been called
to the wedding feast of the Lamb.”

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 100:1B-2, 3, 4, 5

R. (Rev. 19: 9a) Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.
R. Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.
Know that the LORD is God;
he made us, his we are;
his people, the flock he tends.
R. Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
his courts with praise;
Give thanks to him; bless his name.
R. Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.
For he is good:
the LORD, whose kindness endures forever,
and his faithfulness, to all generations.
R. Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.

Gospel: Luke 21:20-28

Jesus said to his disciples:
“When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies,
know that its desolation is at hand.
Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains.
Let those within the city escape from it,
and let those in the countryside not enter the city,
for these days are the time of punishment
when all the Scriptures are fulfilled.
Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days,
for a terrible calamity will come upon the earth
and a wrathful judgment upon this people.
They will fall by the edge of the sword
and be taken as captives to all the Gentiles;
and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles
until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars,
and on earth nations will be in dismay,
perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
People will die of fright
in anticipation of what is coming upon the world,
for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
And then they will see the Son of Man
coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
But when these signs begin to happen,
stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.”

NAB

nov-24

“Blessed are those who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” (Rev. 19:9)

Close your eyes and picture a wedding. Maybe it’s your own, or maybe it’s a friend’s. Picture the church decorated with flowers, the guests arriving in their finest garb. Beautiful music begins to play and the groom comes out and waits on the altar. The anticipation is palpable as everyone looks to the back of the church, waiting for the bride. It’s impossible not to be caught up in the joy and excitement!

Did you realize that today’s readings include a wedding invitation? You may have been distracted by all the doom and gloom and prophecies of destruction. Don’t worry, you’re probably not the only one. Readings dealing with the end times can be frightening and confusing. But some of them, like today’s Gospel reading, were actually prophecies about things that happened during the time of the early church, like the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Others are symbols of things that will happen when Christ comes to earth again as King.

There’s a lot going on, but don’t lose sight of the invitation. Christ is calling you into a beautiful union with Himself. He wants to purify you through the Sacraments of the Church. He wants to adorn you with the virtues of holiness. He wants to feed you with His own life-giving Body, and be united with you in the Eucharist. He wants you to be ready when He comes again, and He wants to you be at the Wedding Feast that lasts for all eternity.

My dear sisters, it doesn’t matter if we are married, single, or discerning a vocation to a religious life, we all desire to be loved. We can try to fill that desire with earthly relationships, the praise and good opinions of others, or material possession. Or we can open our hearts to the love Jesus is offering—the only thing that will truly satisfy.

Now picture a wedding again, but this time Jesus is the groom and you, as a part of His Church, are His bride. He’s calling you to the Wedding Feast. How will you respond to Him?

If you are feeling far from the Love of Christ, make a first step at restoring your relationship with Him by going to Confession. Let your heart be reconciled to His.

Anna Coyne is a Saint Paul native, wife, mother, and convert to the Catholic faith. When not chasing after her two young children you can probably find her teaching piano lessons, knitting, tripping over wooden train sets, or writing. Find out more about her here.

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