In the peace of His Majesty, Our Lord Jesus. May our Lady, the Immaculate Queen of All Saints, pray for us and may the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen. Ave María! Due to the tragic events unfolding in Palestine, a common heresy has recently littered the air with a new fervor. This heresy is filled with blunt rejections of the Gospel and overt blasphemy. In the Gospel excerpt for the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, we hear these sobering words relating to the heresy in question: The kingdom of heaven is like a king who made a marriage feast for his son. And he sent his servants to call in those invited to the marriage feast for his son. And he sent his servants to call in those invited to the marriage feast, but they would not come. Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatlings are killed, and everything is ready; come to the marriage feast.’
But they made light of it, and went off, one to his farm, and another to his business; and the rest laid hold of his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. But when the king heard of it, he was angry; and he sent his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burnt their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The marriage feast indeed is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy; go therefore to the crossroads, and invite to the marriage feast whomever you shall find.’ (Matthew 22:1-14). In this parable the Master teaches us the story of the Kingdom of Heaven, the covenant of God and man. The marriage feast for the King’s son can be understood as the Incarnation of Christ, the King’s messenger-servants can be understood as the prophets and those invited as the Hebrews.
By means of the prophets and kings, God invited the Hebrews to the marriage feast, the marriage between God and man in the Messiah, Jesus Christ. This first invitation from the prophets starting from the beginning and ending with St. John the Baptist, was rejected. The second group of servants sent by the king is Our Blessed Lord Himself and the continual invitation presented by His Church. Both group of servants were (and are) persecuted and rejected. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you (Matthew 5:12). These flat-out rejections of the Messiah can be found in many other places: search the scriptures, for you think in them to have life everlasting; and the same are they that give testimony of me. And you will not come to me that you may have life. I receive glory not from men. But I know you, that you have not the love of God in you. I am come in the Name of My Father, and you receive Me not: if another shall come in his own name, him you will receive. How can you believe, who receive glory one from another: and the glory which is from God alone, you do not seek? Think not that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one that accused you, Moses, in whom you trust. For if you did believe Moses, you would perhaps believe me also; for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words (John 5: 39-47). Again, we hear Our Blessed Lord refer to Moses, and Himself as being messengers sent by God. Again, in another place: The Jews therefore said to Him: Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast Thou seen Abraham? Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say to you, before Abraham was made, I Am. They took up stones therefore to cast at him. But Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the temple. (John 8:57-58).
Here we see, even after Our Blessed Lord has releveled Himself, they still take up stones against Him. There should be much recollection into the actions of His Majesty as a foreshadowing: Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the temple. Finally, when Our Lord proves Himself by raising Lazarus from the dead. The High priest heard of this they derived a plan to put Our their God and King to death. But one of them, named Caiphas, being the high priest that year, said to them: You know nothing. Neither do you consider that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this he spoke not of himself: but being the high priest of that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation. And not only for the nation, but to gather together in one the children of God, that were dispersed. From that day therefore they devised to put him to death. Wherefore Jesus walked no more openly among the Jews; but he went into a country near the desert, unto a city that is called Ephrem, and there he abodes with his disciples.
It should be noted our Lord sought refuge in the Ephrem near the northern border with Samaria, the land of the gentiles. Another Action we ought to consider. Then just Three days before Passover, just before His entrance into Jerusalem we see Our Lord weep: And when he drew near, seeing the city, he wept over it, saying: If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace; but now they are hidden from thy eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, and thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and straiten thee on every side, And beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee: and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone: because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation. And entering into the temple, he began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought Saying to them: It is written: My house is the house of prayer. But you have made it a den of thieves (Luke 19:41-46). Again, we hear Our Lord does not sleep in Jerusalem. The essence of the first part of this parable is summarized by the words we hear at the end of each Mass: He came unto his own, and his own received Him not (John 1:10-11).
This rejection of the Messiah, this rejection of the invitation to the wedding feast, got this response from the King in the parable: he sent his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burnt their city. In 66 AD, Roman legions under Gessius Florus crushed a revolt led by Hebrew nationalist factions and religious zealots. When the revolt began the rebels overwhelmed the Roman forces in Jerusalem, ruthlessly lynching the remaining Roman citizens. Florus was quick to surround the city and crush the rebellion, he did however, spared the temple, hoping it would ease tension. The Hebrews which had accepted Christ fled the city as commanded by the Master: And when you shall see Jerusalem compassed about with an army; then know that the desolation thereof is at hand. Then let those who are in Judea, flee to the mountains; and those who are in the midst thereof, depart out: and those who are in the countries, not enter into it (Luke 21: 20-21).
Unrest would continue in Judea and especially in Jerusalem, with many rising up to claim they were the messiah and leading armies against the Romans. In 70 AD, three days before Passover, the city fell into total revolt and was surrounded by Roman legions. These historic accounts were recorded by Hebrew historian Josephus. Jerusalem was largely controlled by three factions. The first dressed in women’s clothing in order to steal and murder more easily, they had control of the territory from the temple walls to a few of the outer streets. The second largest faction was not entirely Jewish but made up of gentile marauders and amongst them were Hebrews who were taking advantage of the situation. The last were religious zealots who had barricaded themselves inside the temple and appointed high priests for themselves. These factions fought against each other, only uniting to stop and mutually fight the Romans. These three revolutionary factions are similar to the three rejectors in the marriage feast parable who: made light of it, and went off, one to his farm, and another to his business; and the rest laid hold of his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. The siege lasted five months and when the Romans eventually overcame the walls of Jerusalem they were met with fierce resistance. On July 17th, the perpetual sacrifice of the Temple ended, just as predicted by the prophet Daniel: And after sixty-two weeks Christ shall be slain: and the people that shall deny him shall not be his. And a people with their leader that shall come, shall destroy the city and the sanctuary: and the end thereof shall be waste, and after the end of the war the appointed desolation. And he shall confirm the covenant with many, in one week: and in the half of the week the victim and the sacrifice shall fail: and there shall be in the temple the abomination of desolation: and the desolation shall continue even to the consummation, and to the end (Daniel 9:26-27).
(To be continued)
Roland Flores, Círculo Carlista Camino Real de Tejas