Thursday, August 18, 2016

Reflection: Matthew 22:1-14

Thursday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time - Matthew 22:1-14

Today, Jesus speaks to the chief priests and the elders of the people in parables.  He begins with the parable of the king who gave a wedding banquet for his son.  The king sent his servants out to invite his family and friends to the wedding.  However, many of them refused to come and offered a variety of excuses why they could not attend the banquet.  The king, however, was determined to have a grand celebration of his son’s wedding so he sent his servants out once again.  This time he instructed his servants to tell the invited guests: “I have everything prepared for a grand celebration: the banquet is ready, come to the feast.” 

The servants went out they went and issued the invitation once again to the invited guests.  However, all of the guests once again refused the invitation. 

When the servants went back and told the master that none of the invited guests would be coming to the celebration, the king was astounded and enraged. He immediately sent his troops to destroy the murderers and burn their city. Then the king instructed his servants to go out to the highways and by-ways and bring in all the people they encountered to the wedding feast. The king was determined to have a great feast for his son’s wedding; he would not have his son and his bride slighted. And many people came to the wedding feast.  The servants did as the king instructed and a variety of people filled the banquet hall.

As was the custom at that time, each guest was given a wedding garment to wear.  This ensured that everyone was dressed appropriately for the occasion.  As the king was visiting with his guests, he noticed that there was one guest who was not wearing a wedding garment.  The king approached the man and said to him: “My friend, why are you not wearing a wedding garment?”  The man did not respond; he remained silent.  After a time, the king told the servants: “Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the darkness!  Many are invited, but few are chosen.”

Jesus has invited each of us to his wedding feast. He extends this invitation each and every day. Ask yourself: what is my response to Jesus’ invitation? Do I always have an excuse why it is impossible for me to attend the feast: “I have work to do,” or “I have another commitment,” or: “I am too tired to come.”

How will you respond to Jesus’ invitation today? Be awake and alert: Jesus’ invitation may come in an unusual manner or through a person you do not like or even know!  However, if we accept the invitation, Jesus will grace us through this encounter!

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