Where Is the Mountain of Wonders?

by Edmond Lo

Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Isaiah 25:6-10A

On this mountain the LORD of hosts will provide for all peoples a feast of rich food and choice wines, juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines. On this mountain he will destroy the veil that veils all peoples, the web that is woven over all nations; he will destroy death forever. The Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from every face; the reproach of his people he will remove from the whole earth; for the LORD has spoken. On that day it will be said: "Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us! This is the LORD for whom we looked; let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!" For the hand of the LORD will rest on this mountain.

Philippians 4:12-14, 19-20

Brothers and sisters:

I know how to live in humble circumstances; I know also how to live with abundance. In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of living in abundance and of being in need. I can do all things in him who strengthens me. Still, it was kind of you to share in my distress.

My God will fully supply whatever you need, in accord with his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father, glory forever and ever. Amen.

Matthew 22:1-14

Jesus again in reply spoke to the chief priests and elders of the people in parables, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast, but they refused to come. A second time he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those invited: “Behold, I have prepared my banquet, my calves and fattened cattle are killed, and everything is ready; come to the feast.$2"0$ Some ignored the invitation and went away, one to his farm, another to his business. The rest laid hold of his servants, mistreated them, and killed them. The king was enraged and sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. Then he said to his servants, 'The feast is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy to come. Go out, therefore, into the main roads and invite to the feast whomever you find.' The servants went out into the streets and gathered all they found, bad and good alike, and the hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to meet the guests, he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment. The king said to him, 'My friend, how is it that you came in here without a wedding garment?'But he was reduced to silence. Then the king said to his attendants, 'Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.' Many are invited, but few are chosen."

Where Is the Mountain of Wonders?
Edmond Lo

The “mountain” promised by Isaiah in this Sunday's first reading is a mountain of wonders! On this mountain, (a) God “will provide for all peoples a feast of rich food and choice wines”; (b) “he will destroy the veil that veils all peoples”; (c) “he will destroy death forever”; and (d) he will wipe away all tears (Is. 25:6-8).

Too good to be true? Jesus doesn't think so. He is all business when he discusses in the gospel reading the same feast that Isaiah promised. The feast, Jesus explains, is the kingdom of heaven. At the same time, he offers a little more insight about this feast: it's a wedding feast. The kingdom of heaven, in other words, is a joyous celebration of the marital relationship between Jesus and his Church.

But where are the rich food and choice wines? They are the Eucharist, reverently laid out on the meal table – the altar – for our spiritual consumption every time a Mass is celebrated. “For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink,” Jesus says (John 6:55).

What about the destruction of “the veil that veils all peoples”? Done! The veil of the sanctuary, which symbolizes an unbreakable barrier between God and man, “was torn in two from top to bottom” (Mt. 27:51) on Jesus' death. The removal of the barrier, accomplished by Jesus, who is the “only mediator between God and the human race” (1 Tim 2:5) enables all of us to be “gazing with unveiled face on the glory of the Lord” (2 Cor 3:18).

But wait! Where is this mountain? We can't wait to get there! The Holy Spirit will not close his book – the Bible – on us without giving us the answer to this hugely important question. Near the end of the last book of the Bible, it is revealed to us through St. John's apocalyptic vision that this “great, high mountain” is the New Jerusalem, the Bride of Christ – the Church; and that through the Church, God will always be with his people (cf. Rev 21:1-3; 9-10). “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, (for) the old order has passed away” (Rev 21:4).

To conclude, Isaiah was not kidding us when he made the prediction of the feast on the holy mountain.


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