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THE PARABLE OF THE WEDDING BANQUET

Why do we identify the King in the parable with God?

The King is a King. He is on top of an intricate system of honor and shame, patronage, property, and privilege. He is rich. He is powerful. He hosts a banquet. His invite is turned down. He is shamed. He gets back at those who shamed him. He has them killed and burns down their city.

Then he gathers the dregs of society to his banquet. He finds one of the dregs not wearing the wedding robe which the King obviously provided (where do you expect the dregs of society to get clothes for a royal wedding?).  The King is a King. He is rich. He is powerful. He is benevolent but he has been shamed again! He has his minions bind the man, hand and foot, and thrown out to where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

And this is how we imagine the Kingdom of God?   

Parables are the opposite of myths. If myths are stories that create order, parables subvert. Parables are subversive speech. The Roman Empire killed Jesus. Historians Josephus (Jewish) and Tacitus (Roman) both report the crucifixion. Jesus was, most probably, executed for the movement he started and the parables he weaved. 
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Jesus has AIDS

If I said Jesus has cancer. Or diabetes. Or asthma. No one will give a fuss. I have, in the past, argued that Jesus might have been gay, a woman, a Palestinian, and an African.

But most of us have problems when we hear that Jesus has AIDS. Because we have been socialized to identify AIDS with promiscuity, with illicit drug use, with divine punishment, with sin. And the Jesus many of us worship cannot be promiscuous, will not touch or even be in the same room with weed, and, of course, is a perpetual virgin, and sinless.

What is the international symbol for HIV AIDS prevention? When you turn the red symbol on its side, what does the symbol represent?

My dear friends, the world has AIDS. Close to 40 million of our sisters and brothers are living with HIV. About 1% of all our sisters and brothers, aged 15 to 49, are living with HIV. Since the beginning of the epidemic, 35 million of our sisters and brothers have died. One million last year.

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NO ROOM

No Room

This is the reality of our world today.  There is no room.
No room for refugees. No room for Lumads. No room for the Rohingya. No room for Palestinians. No room for PLHA. No room for LGBTQi. No room for the Other. Sadly, nothing has changed.
The first Christmas. We combine Matthew’s and Luke’s narratives. We re-enact it almost every December in our school plays and in our church pageants. St. Francis started the tradition in the 1200s. In our re-enactments, Joseph and a very pregnant Mary find no room in any inn. No one is ready and willing to welcome the couple. Eventually, they find shelter among animals, in a manger, where Jesus is born. Soon, visitors arrive: angels, shepherds, even the Little Drummer Boy in some of our plays, and then the magi bringing gifts. Incidentally, in one TV spot I saw abroad, one of the magi brings the Baby Jesus the newest Android Smartphone.
In artwork going around in our social networks, the Wise Men are blocked by Israel’s Apartheid Wall. Mary a…