An inspiring guest post — ~ by Candie Suarez ~
Once upon a time there was a King. The King was a good and kind, and generous King. The day came when the King was to give a feast for his son. The King planned a grand and fabulous feast in celebration of his Son. The King’s servants were dispatched to call all of the people in the Kingdom to this Feast, to partake with the King in His banquet. The day came and all was prepared and the King awaited the people in joyful anticipation. The time for the feast arrived and the King waited at the door for all his people to come; but no one arrived to the Feast. The people were busy with work, school, vacations and just every day life in the Kingdom. The King was hurt, offended and very disappointed, and his displeasure soon turned to anger. Once the King became angry things began to go badly for the people in the kingdom.
Now imagine how we would feel if we planned a party, and we cleaned the house and prepared the food, and played music and planned a wonderful time to be shared in unity with those we love, our friends, our neighbors, our family…and the day came for the party –and no one showed up. This was the meaning of the message for me today. I have been feeling pretty down, situtations in my personal, professional and spiritual life have left me feeling hurt, disappointed and at times bitter even angry. These displeasures intensified my feelings of unworthiness in many things, but mostly in the partaking of the Feast the King prepares for me every week.
You see Friends, for over one year I have stayed away from mass. And while I stayed away, life kept coming my way….chock full of roses, some thornier than others; some days even with wrenches, just to keep it interesting; and every week an invitation went unanswered by me to go and partake in the Feast my King had prepared for me.
During a recent conversation with a friend as she listened to my tirade, she said simply you know what you have to do..We’d talked about it before; but I defused her persistence by acting a fool. What? I asked as if I didnt know, and made other stupid comments. But we both knew what she was talking about. In my human-ness, I rejected the idea of going there. Yet I knew that the King has been waiting….the feast prepared…and it was up to me to partake, or not.
For me personally, the mere fact that I have offended our King and rejected communion with his Son, has caused me so much sprirtual despair that I didnt know how to even get back there, and it was only through reconciliation with Him, that I am even to share this story with you my beloved friends and family.
The weight of my feelings started to lift when I stepped into a closet sized- room with two chairs, closed the door and sat down with a man I’d never met, dressed in black garment with a white collar and told him about how I had been feeling and that I had allowed my human-ness and anger and bitterness to keep me from showing up for the Feast that the King had prepared for me. The man admonished me, lovingly, but none the less. I was ashamed. However, as I walked out, I noticed that my heavy heart felt lighter. I walked to the front of the church in waitful readiness. This time I was the one in joyful anticipation for the King and His Feast.
As the priest read from the Gospel, Mathhew 22:1-14, the parable tells a similar story, except that in the parable, the King did infact enact his anger against the people and destroyed them. We are not there…yet. I sat and contemplated the message that felt as if it had been waiting just for me; and as the priest read it he glanced my way a few times. Then the King opened the door to His heavenly Kingdom, and as I walked up to the Feast, He received me with such joy and love, I felt His arms embrace me and He lovingly led me to His table, where He once again introduced me to His Son, for whom the celebration was prepared and He said to me Come my child, I have waited for you, welcome home, your Feast is ready, partake, and be blessed.
As I drove home I felt today began a new day. My despair was turned to cheerfulness, my anger is now condonation, my hurt has been soothed, my disappointment replaced with gratification and fulfillment; my feelings of unworthiness have been replaced with feelings of appropriateness.
In the evening, I shared this story with two of my children, I started it out as I did in this writing, once upon a time there was a King….. We can always get our chidlren’s attention when we tell them a story….except this story was not a fable as they learned when I got to the end. Both their eyes teared, as did mine. And so I decided to share it with you, all of you whom I love, that you may share it with those you love, and that you may be ever mindful, that our King has prepared for us a Feast, for all of us and that when we dont show up, He is hurt, He is disappointed, He is offended, and while He is ever patient and loving and forgiving, we could anger Him, and should that ever happen…..well, let’s just say, the partaking of the Feast He has prepared for us will serve us far far better, than the hurt and offense we cause Him by not showing up and let’s not even think about the anger He could ultimately unleash.
Those of you who have children returning to school on Monday, perhaps this Sunday, we could partake of the Feast He has prepared for us, that we may celebrate with the King, the Glory that is His Son, that you and your house too will be Blessed and that we will go in Peace, to love and serve our Lord; in gratitude for the Kingdom in which we live and the amazing banquet He has prepared for us all.
Have a wonderful weekend, with love.
(by Candie Suarez 8/18/11)