The Banquet of the Lord
- Reading I: Isaiah 25:6-10
- Resp. Psalm: Psalm 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6
- Gospel Reading:Matthew 15:29-37
The Messianic banquet is a banquet of life. Isaiah’s vision of the banquet of the Lord served on the mountain, recalls the dinner that Yahweh had with Moses and the elders at Sinai. It was a symbolic gesture of what the covenant was about: fellowship with God and with others. When all are friends and all can share the same banquet table, then there is peace, there can be no wars. The veil that Yahweh lifts from the nations is the veil that keeps them in darkness and division. The veil that is lifted reveals the face of each one making them less a stranger to one another. The book of the Apocalypse quotes the words "The Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces…". In John’s vision, the line occurs in a description of the new Jerusalem, where God is at the center of all life. In this Christian vision of the new heavens and the new earth, the banquet is held in the wedding of the Lamb and His Bride, the Church.
What has this Isaianic vision have to do with Advent? The answer is simple: the Advent of the Lord brings with it the fulness of life. When the Lord first came, He gave us a foretaste of the Messianic meal when he fed the multitudes. In the Eucharist, we make present once more the times when the Lord opened for us a window into His future. Those who share in the Eucharist are assured that they too are numbered among those who will be in His banquet. "Whoever eats this bread and drinks this cup will not die; he shall live forever." Thus, during the Eucharist itself we are reminded of this connection between the present re-presentation of the meal of the Lord with the future banquet of the Lamb: "Mortem tuam annuntiamus, Domine, et tuam resurrectionem confitemur, donec venias "1
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- We announce your death, O Lord, and we confess your resurrection, until you come in glory. [↩]