In Sunday’s Gospel, we heard another parable from Jesus as shared in Matthew 22: 1-14. You can check it out here: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/101214.cfm You may know this as the parable of the wedding feast.
We can all learn a powerful message from the parable of the wedding feast. Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees, but what he had to say applies to all of us.
Jesus told the story of the king who threw a wedding feast for his son. He sent servants to tell guests that they were invited to celebrate, but they refused his gracious invitation. They weren’t busy with other plans, they just chose not attend. In some cases, the servants were ignored, others were beaten, and some were killed. Not quite the response you’d expect when asking people to come to a feast, huh?
The king was obviously unhappy with the negative response of those invited. He sent his servants back out to invite anybody who would come. At first he had a specific guest list, but now anybody on the streets with desire to attend would do. His servants were able to fill the banquet hall. When the king came to the feast, he saw someone who “was not wearing wedding garments” and had the man tossed out. Wedding garments were provided to each guest, and purposely not wearing them was disrespectful to the king’s kind invitation.
We can infer what Jesus was talking about in this parable. In this story the king is God, Jesus his Son is the one the wedding feast is for, the wedding feast is the kingdom of heaven, the servants are God’s prophets (like St. John the Baptist), the Israelites are the guests who refuse to attend, and the new guests invited represent everyone else.
At first the Israelites were the chosen people, but they refused to believe that Jesus was God’s Son. God offered them invitation to the kingdom of heaven, but they refused to believe and even killed one of his prophets, St. John the Baptist. God then offered the kingdom of heaven to anybody who would accept his Son as their true savior. However, one of the guests who accepted the invite wore his own garments instead of those provided to him. This represents somebody who claims to be a good Christian, but still leads life based on their own rules. That’s not how it works! You have to live life according to God’s principles and guidelines. Simply saying you’re a Christian doesn’t make you one. Acting the part is everything. Playing by your own rules is not an option.
The parable of the wedding feast is a great one to reflect on. We got together after Sunday’s Mass to discuss and had a great time doing so. It’s incredible what we can learn from the Gospel if we listen and discuss.