Ascension Church

Homily, Oct. 15, 2017

I. “What to wear?” I worry over that every day. If you Google, “what to wear,” you get 396,000,000 responses. The poor slob in today’s gospel who got booted from the banquet should have consulted the “What to Wear to a Wedding” website. Had he done so, he would have discovered that it wasn’t a matter of what one wears, but who one wears. No, not Gucci, or Pucci, or Prada. The Ultimate Host expects that his guests be clothed in Christ.


II. Today’s Gospel story is marked by urgency: the food’s hot and it won’t wait. The time to put on Christ is now. In a Christian community, it’s expected that all of us wear Christ all the time. It should be as obvious as wearing this white thing. It’s called an “alb,” from the Latin word, “albus,” meaning “white.” I wear this alb every time we get together, as did the early Christians, making it apparent that they were “putting on” Christ, as if He were their very skin.

In this parish, wearing Christ means that everyone will find a lavish welcome at the table, that all will receive and all will give. It’s an urgent matter: if we can’t count on always and forever finding Christ here, then, pray God, where?


III. The feast that God offers is not only some churchy thing that only takes place in a limited sacred space, or some fantastic reality that’s awaiting us in the beyond. Jesus saw all of life as God’s joyful hospitality, God’s love and generosity spilling over, the world charged with the grandeur of God, every breath a mouthful of grace. It’s an invite too good to pass up. Those in today’s parable who had the gall to refuse had their town burned down: “Zero Tolerance” for party poopers.



In her poem, “Good Times,” Lucille Clifton writes:
my mama has made bread
and grampaw has come
and everybody is drunk
and dancing in the kitchen
and singing in the kitchen
oh these is good times


oh children think about the
good times


Dancing and singing here in the Eucharistic kitchen trains us to know the good times.