Images of banquets and feasting, of hospitality and generosity abound in this week’s readings.

In the First Reading, the prophet Isaiah tells how God will prepare a banquet of rich food for all peoples. He will remove their sadness so that all will rejoice in the saving hand of God.

The Psalm echoes the theme of the care that God, as shepherd, has for all his people. It ends with an image of a banquet and generous hospitality.

St Paul, in the Second Reading, has utter confidence that God will give him strength as he faces hardship in prison. This is revealed through the generosity of others, who will be amply rewarded.

The Gospel from St Matthew offers us yet another parable of the Kingdom. The messianic banquet is offered to all, Jews and Gentiles – though some refuse and are rejected. All of us, good and bad alike, have only to respond to the invitation.

The wedding feast is not just a heavenly banquet: the Kingdom is in the here and now. What invitations, in the banquet of life, will come my way this week?