Gospel Matthew 22:1-14
“Invite everyone you can find to the wedding”
Sometimes Jesus’ parables read as downright weird.
The story before us is one that grabs our attention, but leaves us wondering about its meaning.
The parables that Jesus uses to teach about the kingdom of heaven are by nature mysterious – inviting the audience to press into the various layers of meaning. We are shocked in fact when we find that our preconceptions of the kingdom of heaven to be challenged so radically.
Here the king finds that his closest friends and allies are not interested in joining him in celebration. They ignore the invitation or worse. This results in the wrath of the king being unleashed and the invitation extended to those who were initially deemed unworthy of an invitation.
We can read into this parable the whole history of God’s pedagogical method. His plan for the salvation of the world given to us in the book of Genesis (cf. Gn 3:15) is the preparing of the wedding feast; the sending of the servants to those invited (i.e. Moses and the prophets); and then the extension of the invitation to all, (through yet more servants, the Apostles).
While all are invited, only those adequately disposed or prepared for the celebration are welcome to stay. In fact, the one who attends and who is not wearing the wedding garment, (which many of the Church fathers speak of as the garment of Christian charity), is not welcome to stay.
This leaves us in an interesting position, hearing this parable proclaimed nearly 2000 years after Jesus initially spoke it. How have we, how are we, responding to the invitation to the wedding feast of the lamb? The wedding is the union of God and man in the person of Jesus Christ – God made man.
Have we responded positively, and readied ourselves?
Point to Ponder
“The invisible God out of the abundance of his love speaks to men as friends and lives among them, so that he may invite and take them into fellowship with himself.” – Dei Verbum, n. 2.