The parable of the wedding feast

MATTHEW 22:1-14

Jesus spoke to [the chief priests and the Pharisees] 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. He 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.”

REFLECTIONS

NOT DRESSED IN A WEDDING GARMENT. Jesus describes the people the king invites to the feast. The first are those who do not come despite having initially accepted the invitation. Demands of work and family life or even financial constraints get in the way. The second are those who are not dressed in proper attire. The man who is not in a wedding garment may be said to be present physically but not in mind or spirit. Finally, we have the guests who spend time preparing for the wedding feast and come aptly dressed. They enjoy the feast and have fun. This is how we, too, must prepare for the heavenly feast to which the Lord invites us.

“Hope has been the sole companion of my life, the greatest aid in doubts, the strongest assistance in my weakness… hope in Christ, supported by the celestial promise that He will strengthen the weakest of men with a greatness of soul and divine help” (St. Pius X, Vehementor Nos).

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2014,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: books@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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