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The other day I was looking up the internet for ROBIN WILLIAMS, the actor who died a couple of years ago.  I saw clips of some great movies – Dead Poets Society, Mrs Doubtfire and Good Will Hunting – and some episodes of “Mork & Mindy.”  I also flicked through a few tribute speeches that were given in the months after he passed away.  In each case what drew me in about Robin Williams was not just his amazing ability as an actor but also that he was a troubled soul.  And there was one thought that came to me from the clips of the various awards Robin Williams had received over his acting years: the Cecil B Demillie awards, the Golden Globes, the Emmys and the Oscars.  He was absolutely funny in each of those speeches, having the audience eat of his hand but in each of the speeches, he thanked his wife, Marcia, for sticking by him and, he said “for being the woman who lights up my soul every morning.”  In the midst of great fame – and in the midst of his troubled life – was the sense that he was THANKFUL, that he knew who was the central rock in his life.  And he was grateful.

 

 

 

It chimed in with other thoughts, prayerful thoughts, that were going through my mind this week.  As I read and prayed with the Isaiah reading and with the Gospel parable I had a sense that I too was grateful, that I too was thankful for so many things in life.  The Isaiah reading says “The Lord will prepare you a banquet of rich food and of fine wines.  The Lord will wipe away the tears from your cheek.”  And the Gospel tells of God’s great invitation to be part of the Kingdom.  It led me to think of the many things for which I am thankful.  First and foremost, I am thankful for the example that Mum & Dad continue to give me; even although he has passed away, Dad continues to be there.  My close family and friends.  This Parish and all that is going on.  HCPT, Ecuador, the Kay Park that I love to walk around through good and bad days.  All of the things and people that see me through thick and thin, those places and people which are like the calm in the midst of life’s storms and, like Robin Williams in tribute to his wife, give a spark to every morning.  I invite YOU today to begin a list of all the people and places, all the events that have made you THANKFUL in life, all of the things that bring a ray of sunshine to your heart.

 

 

 

To help you in this reflection is the PARABLE OF THE WEDDING FEAST. This was a Parable written by Matthew towards the end of the first century.  By this time, Matthew had noticed that some of his friends – and perhaps his family – were accepting Jesus into their lives and others were not.  Some of the religious leaders of the time were accepting Jesus Christ as the Son of God and others were not.  And so this parable has some key elements.  Firstly the INVITATION is given from the King, the guests didn’t create the wedding, the invite came from outside.  Here the people were invited to reflect that all these things they had in life had been given to them from God.  Secondly, some people ACCEPTED the invite and others did not.  The people were invited to ask themselves whether they would accept God’s invitation or reject it.  Thirdly, it WASN’T THE USUAL SUSPECTS that accepted the invite – people from the hedgerows were drawn in.  The people were invited to reflect that Gentiles and pagans had accepted Christ when some Jews had rejected Him.

 

 

 

You have been given so many gifts in life.  People, yes.  Places – yes.  Material possessions – yes!  Did you invent your family, your friends, these places?  No, they have all been given to you.  They are your way of getting through the stormy moments of life.  They are the people and places that bring sunshine into your mornings.  They have been given to you by God.  They are your invitation to become part of God ‘s Kingdom.  Will you accept?

 

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