Gospel Reflection Oct 11 – Deacon Paul
Sunday, October 11
Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Matthew 22: 1-14
Jesus again in reply spoke to the chief priests and elders of the people
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.
The king 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.”
Today’s Gospel includes a pair of parables…The Parable of the Wedding Banquet and The Parable of the Wedding Garments. And the story is obviously more than just a story about a king and a banquet, but it is the story of salvation history in which God sent his prophets and evangelists with Good News, but many of them were rejected.
We heard in the parable that when the king entered the wedding hall, he noticed that one of the guests clearly stood out from all the others because he was not wearing a wedding garment. Upon seeing this, the king told his attendants to “bind his hands and feet, and to cast him into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”
Friends, God invites all of us to the banquet of salvation, but we have to prepare ourselves for the event when it comes…we have to look for that invitation and we have to be open to its call…preparing ourselves to receive it. The man in this parable remained clothed in “his sin and his iniquities,” not realizing that such a call would come at that moment. This particular man had not been prepared for such a call from the king, and he had clothed himself in a way which demonstrated his unfitness for such a feast.
None of us knows the moment when we will be called to the feast. And so, we must always prepare ourselves by clothing ourselves in our faith. We must live the life Jesus teaches us to live in order to prepare for that call…that moment when we will find ourselves in front of the Lord.
-Deacon Paul Zemanek