Sunday, October 15, 2023
28th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)
Gospel Mt 22:1-14
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."
Upon Reflection: I invite you to hear today's Gospel this way:
Jesus, in his ongoing conversation with those who thought that they were the one's who knew God, said to them, "Seeing reality the way God see's it can be likened to a king who schedules and plans a joyous wedding banquet for his son. When the feast was ready, the king sent out his servants to let all the invited guests know that it was party time. But could you believe it? They all refused to come!
The king, somewhat perplexed, sent his servants out again to let all those invited know that no expense had been spared and that the wedding banquet was going to be rockin' with all kinds of "top shelf" food and drink and a kickin' band. But still none of them wanted to come. Some just ignored the invitation again and put all their focus on their daily work while the rest did whatever they had to do to make sure that the king's servants would never bother them again.
After this, the king said to his servants, 'Look, we're ready to party over here, but the original invited people turned out to be party-poopers. So here's what I want you to do: Go out into the streets and invite everyone you meet indiscriminately. Have no prerequisites – just desire. Whoever wants to come can come.'
The servants went out and did as they were instructed. All kinds of people were invited. Some had good reputations as honest and generous people while others had bad reputations as thieves and liars. But they all wanted to come, so they were the ones who shared in the king's and the king's son's joy. All those others chose to miss out on the fun.
Now, there was one interesting development at the wedding. Everyone who showed up, whether they were good or bad in the past, came dressed appropriately for a wedding; that is, all but one. One dude tried to be a part of the wedding feast without wearing the proper clothes. The king went up to him and said, 'Hey man, don't you know that if you are going to be a part of a wedding feast that you have to put on your wedding clothes?' To this, the guy said nothing. Apparently, he was in the dark, so to the darkness is where the king let him go.
Do you get my drift? Everyone is invited to see through God's eyes, but only a few (usually the unexpected few) take God up on that offer."