Oct 11 2020 Reflection
Sunday 11 October 2020
First Reading: IS 25:6-10A
I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
PS 23:1-3A, 3B-4, 5, 6
Second Reading: PHIL 4:12-14, 19-20
Gospel Reading: MT 22:1-14
Today’s Note: Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Jesus again in reply spoke to the chief priests and elders of the people
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.
The king 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.”
Many are invited, but few are chosen. (Matthew 22:14)
Does this sentence give you a chill? Maybe it makes you wonder, “I hope I get chosen for heaven.” Or maybe you question the justice in it. “If God has already invited people, why would he not choose them?” Today’s parable offers some answers.
First, we hear about a king who decided to look elsewhere when the first set of invitees refused to come to his son’s wedding and abused his messengers. “Those who were invited were not worthy to come,” he said (Matthew 22:8). Then, we see him telling his servants to go invite everyone they could find.
Look at the “worthiness” of the king’s initial invitees. They turned out to be murderers, so the king probably knew they weren’t “worthy” to begin with. But that didn’t matter. Even if they had a sinful past, that did not have to disqualify them. By accepting the invitation and making their way toward the banquet hall, they would have placed themselves on the path of repentance and new life. The same is true of the second group, which was made up of the “bad and good alike” (Matthew 22:10). They were not bound by whatever they had done or failed to do earlier. The same is true for you. Your worthiness is not based on whether you have done everything right. You become worthy as you accept his invitation. Every step you take that brings you closer to the heavenly banquet hall makes you more worthy. It weaves another thread of the garment of holiness that all the saints in heaven wear.
God invites everyone to his banquet. His light shines “on the bad and the good” and “on the just and the unjust” (Matthew 5:45). Ever and always, he is calling out, urging, even begging us to come to him. Everyone is called; may we all accept the invitation so that we can be counted among the “chosen” (Matthew 22:14).
“Thank you, Jesus, for inviting me to your banquet! Help me to choose to live for you this day.”