Nineteenth Sunday After Pentecost The Gospel Matt. 22.v.1.Tuesday Meditation: A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634
GOSPEL Matt. 22:1-14
At that time, Jesus spoke to the chief priests and the Pharisees in parables, saying: "The kingdom of heaven is likened to a king, who made a marriage for his son; and he sent his servants, to call them that were invited to the marriage, and they would not come. Again he sent other servants, saying: Tell them that were invited: Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come ye to the marraige. But they neglected; and went their way, one to his farm, and another to his merchandise; and the rest laid hands on his servants, and having treated them contumeliously, put them to death. But when the king had heard of it, he was angry; and sending his armies, he destroyed those murderers,and burnt their city. Then he saith to his servants: The marraige indeed is ready, but they that were invited were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as you shall find, call to the marraige. And his servants going forth into the ways, gathered together all that they found, both bad and good; and the marraige was filled with guests. And the king went in to see the guests, and he saw there a man who had not on a wedding garment: and he saith to him: Friend, how camest thou in hither, not having on a wedding garment? but he was silent. Then the king said to the waiters: Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen."
Of this feast here, which is as it were a preparative or Antepast unto that in heaven, there are so many sundry dishes, as we have means to attain unto it.
The very Scripture of the old Testament, is a delicate Dish, of which the Jews writing to the Romans to make a league of friendship with them, said they had the holy books of divine Scripture for their solace and comfort, in so much that they needed not to send to them to entreat a league of amity or friendship with them, but they did it merely out of their love, and goodwill towards them.
Now if the Scriptures of the old Testament be such a comfortable dish, what is the New, which is called the glad tidings or message of salvation,for so the Latin word Evangelisum,or in English (Gospel) doth import.
We have the true exposition of the whole Scripture both old and new by the principal Doctors of the Church,Men ordained of God thereunto, inspired with the holy Ghost, and approved by the Church,another delicate dish.
We have General Councils for the decision of doubts, and controversies in Religion,and establishing the truth, another delicate dish.
We have the life and examples of Christ, and of his Blessed Mother,of his Apostles and disciples, and of an infinite number of Saints & holy people, recorded in writing as if we lived with them, and saw them with our eyes, another delicate dish.
We have seven holy Sacraments,the conduits of Gods grace, seven most delicate dishes, especially the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, wherein is contained the delicate bread of the body of Christ, for the food of our souls,and the precious wine of his blood for our spiritual drink, given and shed for our redemption upon the cross,whereof this divine Sacrament is a most lively commemoration, & pledge of everlasting life, applying the merit of the death of Christ unto our souls,by the receiving thereof.
We have the holy Mass a daily Sacrifice propitiatory both for the living and dead, another delicate dish.
We have holy days and holy times throughout the year,wherein we recount,and honor all the mysteries and passages of our redemption, which are like so many holy Stations or Pilgrimages of Devotion, another delicate dish.
We have the Feasts,or Holy days of our Blessed Lady and the principal Saints in heaven,in the name of all the rest distributed throughout all the year, as many as can conveniently be kept, with whom we have this Communion and participation,that as we honor them here on earth so they intercede for us in heaven, another delicate dish.
We keep a pious feast in commemoration and commiseration of all souls in Purgatory, not doubting but as we pray for them here we shall be prayed for if we come there, another delicate dish.
We have daily public prayer, Service,& praising of God said,and sung for us in our Churches by Ecclesiastical,and Religious Persons,ordained and sequestered from the lay people,by solemn vow, and profession to that end, day & night, another delicate dish.
We have holy Pilgrimages and visitations of holy places of devotion,such as the Jews had in the old law, the holy Temple at Jerusalem, Hebron, where some of the holy Patriarchs were buried, & whither King David vowed to go: The place where the Bush burned, and was not consumed,at which Moses was commanded for reverence to put off his shoes, because the ground was holy ground.
The like have we now at the Sepulcher of Christ in Jerusalem,at St. Peters Church in Rome, at our Ladies of Loreto, St. James of Compostella in Spain,and the like, & this is another delicate dish.