Year A: 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Matthew 22: 1-14
Jesus continues to use parables to challenge the chief priests and elders to see what is happening before their eyes and to change.
Last week, He used the traditional image of Israel as the beloved vineyard of God - this week, He draws on the symbol of the Wedding Feast.
As is customary, those invited to the wedding are those closest to families of those getting married. As is not so customary, Jesus says that those who were invited thought that they had better things to do - working on the farm or going about their business. Some were so incensed about being disturbed that they attacked those bringing the invitations.
Understandably, the king who issued the invitation is furious and deals harshly with those who have murdered his servants.
The feast is to go ahead - but now, he offers his invitation to the crowds in the streets - an open invitation to anyone who wants to come. Again, what was offered to - and rejected by - one group of people, is now passed on to another.
The wedding hall, we are told, was full of guests - bad and good alike.
Among the crowds, though, the king spots one who has not dressed for the occasion - and who cannot explain why. Here is someone who has responded to the invitation - but who still does not belong.
The guest refuses to explain why not - and so suffers the same fate as those who rejected the first invitation - to be left outside - realising what they were missing.
The invitation into the Kingdom is now open to everyone. We accept the invitation - but also need to make ourselves ready to attend the feast.
We do this by putting on our “wedding garment” - in St Paul’s words, we put on Christ - we clothe ourselves in love - in gentleness - in all that is worthy of the Kingdom.
What does it mean for me?
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