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The parable of the wedding feast

 

Gospel Reading: Mt 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 the king 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 :  Come to the feast

A wedding is an occasion of festivity, re­union, and association not only for the Isra­elites or for peoples in the Near East but also for practically all cultures. Because of this, it easily lends to the biblical image of the ban­quet of salvation – even of final salvation. Isaiah speaks of the banquet on God’s holy mountain where rich food and choice wines are served. More importantly, God will de­stroy death forever and wipe away the tears from all faces (cf Is 25:7-8).

Jesus, too, makes the wedding feast the symbol of God’s offer of salvation. Everyone is invited to it: the elite as well as those found on the byroads. But the invited refuse to come, and among those who attend is a person who does not wear the wedding garment provided by the king.

The parable is directed especially to the Christian community who come to the ban­quet. They are to dress themselves in the wedding garment that represents a life lived in keeping with God’s call, a life of good deeds, “the righteous deeds of the holy ones” (Rv 19:8).

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

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