Jesus again in reply spoke to them in parables, saying, “The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast, but they refused to come. A second time he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those invited: “Behold, I have prepared my banquet, my calves and fattened cattle are killed, and everything is ready; come to the feast.”’ Some ignored the invitation and went away, one to his farm, another to his business. The rest laid hold of his servants, mistreated them, and killed them. The king was enraged and sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The feast is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy to come. Go out, therefore, into the main roads and invite to the feast whomever you find.’ The servants went out into the streets and gathered all they found, bad and good alike, and the hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to meet the guests he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment. He said to him, ‘My friend, how is it that you came in here without a wedding garment?’ But he was reduced to silence. Then the king said to his attendants, ‘Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’ Many are invited, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:1-14)
In today’s gospel reading, Jesus talks about what the kingdom is all about through a parable. He likened faith to a wedding feast: the king invited people to attend the wedding of his son. The invitation was given to all guests but all of them ignored and refused to come.
He then dispatched his servants and instructed them to invite anyone they would meet on the roadside. But the king saw a man not wearing a wedding garment and ordered that man to be taken out from the feast as he did not fit in the feast.
Among the characters in the parable, each one of us can identify with one of them. We are always invited by God to join him in a feast. Symbolized by the feast hosted by the king, many were invited but few really showed up.
Most of us are like these people who ignored and relented the king’s invitation to be with him in celebrating life and love. . Why is it so hard to say “yes” to that? Why don’t we make ourselves available for others and celebrate God’s goodness and kindness instead?
When we refuse to put on the wedding garment, we fail to put into effect the words “all of you who have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ” because what good is it to put on Christ and do nothing about it? What good is it to say we are Christian and we believe in Jesus Christ, but not actually live it; faithfully?
There is only one question for each of us : am I ready to put on this “wedding garment” of obedience and faithfulness to God, and be in a Christian in all that I do? Whether I am at work, or at university, at school, or even at home? Am I reaching out to my neighbor and my friend, who might need me?
God first loved us to desire all of us to be at this wedding banquet. If we can’t respond to that call of love, just as God first loved us, then, perhaps we should God, and ask Him to help us search for our “wedding garments” within our souls so that we can live out the Christian life.
God invites each of us to His banquet that we may share in his joy. How can we not desire that joy?
Prayer of The Day
“Lord, help me to always know the joy of living in your presence and grow in the hope of seeing you face to face in your everlasting kingdom.”
Our God-given human freedom allows us to make both good choices and bad choices. We are not forced like puppets on a string to pursue and embrace a life of holiness. Rather, we are invited — and we must make a choice. Our past sins are not meant to cripple us from ever walking into the banquet hall of God. We gain the status of being his guests whom he wishes to meet in a special, personal way. There is no other invitation that measures up to it.