The bishop of Klerksdorp diocese Bishop Victor Phalana was at St Paul’s Jouberton, a parish under the care of Fr Joseph Kyeyune, on Sunday October 15, 2017 to confirm some confirmation candidates. The candidates that were confirmed on that day were twenty two in number. The confirmation mass led by the Bishop started at 8:20am. In his homily, the Bishop charged the confirmation candidates to be ready for the task ahead and defend their faith when necessary. On the Gospel of the day taken from the Gospel of Matthew chapter 22 vs 1-14, the Bishop pointed out seven steps that we should be aware of in our dealings with God. The first step is Provision: We should be aware that our God provides for us because He is our Provider. Most times, we become more interested in the provision than in the Provider. We are therefore called into a relationship and intimate union with God. The second step is Invitation: When God provides, He invites us to feast at His table. Sometimes we reject the invitation of God to the wedding banquet because of our worldly commitments/excuses. no matter the challenges/situations, we should show up and identify with God. The third step is Inspection: The room for inspection comes when people have gathered for the wedding feast. Our God is an inspecting God who looks into and knows everything about our lives. The fourth step is Detection: God looks into our lives and detects or finds what is not right about us just like He detected the person without a wedding garment in the gospel of today. The fifth step is Punishment. When the person without a wedding garment was spotted out, he was punished for being different from others present for the wedding feast. He was expelled from the Feast into a place of suffering and anguish. After the expulsion, the celebration continued with those who were clothed in the right wedding garments.
What is this Garment presented to us in today’s gospel?
– The garment could be any of the gifts or fruits of the Holy Spirit
– The garment according to Martin Luther is Faith. We are saved by Faith through grace
– For St Augustine, the garment is Charity (Love of God and neighbour)
– For St Paul, the garment is – being clothed with Christ – as in baptism. When we are given the white garment, we are reminded that we have been clothed with Christ and we must bring this garment unstained into heaven. if it is soiled or stained, we must use the Sacrament of Penance (Confession) to wash it clean again and make a fresh start.