THURSDAY OF THE TWENTIETH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
A reading from the Gospel according to Matthew 22:1-14
Jesus began to address the chief priests and elders of the people, once more using parables: "The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. A king celebrated the wedding of his son. He sent his servants to call the invited guests to the wedding feast, but the guests refused to come. Again he sent other servants ordering them to say to the invited guests: ‘I have prepared a banquet, slaughtered my fattened calves and other animals, and now everything is ready; come then, to the wedding feast’. But they paid no attention and went away, some to their fields, and others to their work. While the rest seized the servants of the king, insulted them and killed them. The king became angry. He sent his troops to destroy those murderers and burn their city. »Then he said to his servants: ‘The wedding banquet is prepared, but the invited guests were not worthy. Go, then, to the crossroads and invite everyone you find to the wedding feast’. The servants went out at once into the streets and gathered everyone they found, good and bad alike, so that the hall was filled with guests. The king came in to see those who were at table, and he noticed a man not wearing the festal garment. So he said to him: ‘Friend, how did you get in without the wedding garment?’ But the man remained silent. So the king said to his servants: ‘Bind his hands and feet and throw him into the dark where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth’. Know that many are called, but few are chosen». The Gospel of the Lord Praise be to you Lord Jesus Christ.
REFLECTION: Friend, how did you get in without the wedding garment?
The people would not come to the feast!!! God has invited us to the wedding celebration--the feast of all feasts--as members of Christ's own body, his bride the church. Our final invitation is to be united with God in his kingdom of peace, love and righteousness.
The planning is finished and the invitations are out. You can feel the excitement in the air. There will be a feast!! The first guests invited just did not show up. They made light of their invitation and had better things to do. They insulted the King (God) and the heir of the throne (Jesus) . There were guests invited that did not deserve to be invited but through the love of the King they were included. However, one chap decided to come in jeans, t shirt, tennis shoes and ate without manners. He accepted the invitation but set aside the wedding garments needed to partake of the feast. What are these special clothes that would have allowed the guest to stay? Most important is the righteousness given to him by the sacrifice of Jesus, but also to enhance his garments would be the grace or gift of compassion, gentleness , patience and love. The guest had none and he was thrown out of the Kingdom banquet.
Let us live in love--God knows our heart and he knows if we are wearing fake jewelry or the expensive jewels. He knows if we are trying to impress Him, so that we can go to heaven or get the invite, or whether we have put aside selfishness , ego, pride, dishonesty and shared our blessings with others.
May we always fear ending up like the unfortunate man who caused the King anger and who had to be bound and thrown out of the feast.
PRAYER: Dearest Lord, how many mistakes have I made along the way to the wedding feast. Please watch over me, send your priests to guide me, to teach me and to correct me. I so do want to be part of the heavenly feast. Enlighten my mind to comprehend your ways of virtue. I know it won't be easy for me as I am so fixed in my ways. But I trust you will hear my prayers and that, I, one day will be "giddy with delight" at being in your presence and in your Kingdom for eternity. Amen
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