We live in a time of technology and most of our mail arrives via email. This includes most mail from family and friends not to mention the monthly bills.
However, Canada Post continues to deliver mail and we check our mailbox for those items.
Then……. SURPRISE…… an invitation has arrived……. It is to a wedding.
Do you like the sound of that?
Almost instantaneously, a couple of questions come to mind….
Do you think you will accept and R.S.V.P. to that invitation?
And that dilemma question……. What am I going to wear?
For men, it is somewhat easy, a Jacket and tie or a Tuxedo perhaps.
As for women, that is too complicated for me to approach, so I will not go there.
Jesus was very worried that we would not accept His invitation and come, that we would lose our way and get distracted.
So, he told the priests and elders a couple of parables. In the first parable, the King calls those invited to the banquet, but they do not come and even worse attack the King’s messengers, mistreat them and even kill some of them.
That is easy to interpret; it is aimed at God’s chosen people Israel, as they turn their back on God and do not accept His invitation.
Then, wonderfully God in His mercy and compassion extends the invitation to everyone, to us the Gentiles, and we are now able to come to Gods’ Heavenly Banquet.
The second parable strikes me much harder. The people now come and enjoy the banquet, but one man is not wearing a wedding garment and just because of his clothes is thrown out.
That scares me as I want to be at that banquet, and I do not want to be thrown out. How do I ensure that I am wearing the right clothes?
The garment in this occasion, represent your life, or at least your life since accepting the invitation.
Your life since you accepted the gift of Grace.
Your clothes and your life are washed white at Baptism, kept clean by the life you lead and the Sacraments you receive, particularly the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.
There is no doubt that we all sin, thereby ruining the clothes we will wear to the Banquet. God knows that, which is why he never stops forgiving; never stops showering us with grace.
The next question is, then what should we be doing in our new clothes?
Well today’s Psalm can help, Psalm 23 ("The Lord is my Shepherd") and speaks wonderfully of the lifelong protection God provides.
Let us reflect on the last verse which has often given us comfort from the line, “Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long”.
But today, as I was preparing my reflection, I read it differently. Today I found a challenge it that line.
Maybe it means: -
Are we challenged to provide goodness and kindness all the days of our life?
If we dwell with the Lord, our life is His, and we have a responsibility to live a life filled with the grace He has given us.
When we return to the Gospel of Saint Matthew, we realize that Jesus really is inviting everyone to come to the feast and to partake in the celebration in the Kingdom.
That call is happening right now, in your life and in my life.
But like everything with a promise, there are conditions.
In this case the condition is:
Wedding attire must be worn, that is,
We must extend Charity toward God and neighbor, - especially to those who are cast aside and scorned by society.
May God Bless you all.